Having competition is great, personally, I get fired up and motivated into new levels of energy. Friends have seen me “on the warpath”. My productivity & focus seem to double instantaneously. (If I only I could bottle this, and sell it to you, friends)
I recently discovered Proxlet has a new competitor. The value Proxlet provides (muting annoying tweets) is a problem many people have thought about, and have tried to solve in various ways, so I was by no means surprised to find another competitor.
I was however shocked to learn the following:
- The product was eerily similar
- The developer had been using Proxlet for months
- Proxlet users were actively being poached on Twitter
- AdWords had been taken out against Proxlet
- Coordinated down-vote activity against Proxlet on Quora
This is classless, childish, and ultimately in-effective.
Competition with class can be confrontational, there is nothing wrong with that. If your product is better than mine, by all means, trumpet the horn & tout your merits. If you’re looking to dethrone a giant, call him out by name! (Witness RunKeeper vs Nike for an example of competition done right)
But in the world of small startups, attempting to directly compete with one another is a waste resources & time, when the real battle is for awareness.
Compete on your merits and stand tall, or shut up and go home.