How many times have you visited a corporate or “official” site and been told nothing but how wonderful the product/service is. There’s no comparison, no discussion of other competitors. In an old school business mindset, that would be craziness. If someone finds out that there’s competition, they might go elsewhere!
News flash: We all know that there’s competition, and there’s always a good chance that we’re not going to use your service.
When vendors call on me, I very often ask them about their competition. Usually this is done towards the end of the sales call, but it’s important to do for one main reason:
It tells me a lot about them as an organization. If they’re respectful of the competition, it’s likely that they’re keeping up, not becoming arrogant. They’re hungry and all around good business people. If it shows in their sales pitch, it’ll show in their product.
I recently came across a corporate Web site that contained the following content under a section called “Similar Products & Solutions”:
The following are companies that provide turnkey hosted ASP solutions that overlap broadly with the capabilities of CivicSpace.
In general, the offerings of these companies are most refined and “productized” than the current 0.8.3 version of CivicSpace. For example, if you want to conduct an email-based fundraising campaign with sophisticated tools, in the near-term, you may be best off selecting one of the vendors above.
This was on the corporate site for CivicSpace. As they put it:
CivicSpace is a community organizing process and software platform.
It allows you to build communities online and offline that can communicate effectively, act collectively, and coordinate coherently with a network of other related organizations.
CivicSpace enables bottom-up people-powered campaigns to operate on a more level playing field with more traditional top-down organizations, and, similarly, allows top-down organizations to leverage the power of grassroots organizing.
Amazing – honest and respect for, even suggestions for, the competition. But don’t you want to just jump on board with these guys? Volunteer to help out? To do some beta testing for them?
Talk about doing it right…
(As a side note, I could find no such references on any of those other 4 sites that CivicSpace mentioned)