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As you gather this data, it is also a good idea to set up a competitor database that is kept current by one of your employees. If your company is in a fastmoving space, you should have a formal competitor review meeting at least quarterly to review all the latest happenings and trends.

 

Be sure to use Google searches1 to gather the latest information on all significant competitors, and then share noteworthy items with your staff. Some companies have a philosophy of discouraging frequent reviews of competitors in order to foster more creativity from their employees. With few exceptions (like maybe Apple), I have not seen this attitude produce successful teams. Andy Grove, the famous former CEO of Intel, encouraged his executives to maintain a healthy paranoia about their competitors2 and to be fully aware of the market landscape of their products. In any case, if you want to land external investment, expect to be grilled down to the minute details on how you will beat your competitors. CEOs who bury their heads in the sand, and who do not reflect a deep understanding of other solutions that customers may consider, rarely get to the finish line.

 

When this exercise is completed, it should be relatively easy to move the most critical and compelling elements of your analysis into a good Competitive Landscape slide.