A driver displaying Lyft and Uber stickers on his windshield drops off a customer in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 12, 2016. (Richard Vogel / Associated Press) How far would you go to figure out what the competition is up to?
Test out their products and services to see how it works? Hire away their staff to learn their tricks? Monitor their job listings to glean insight about upcoming initiatives?
Such tactics are par for the course in the technology industry, where companies go to great lengths to size up their competition. The latest example is Uber, which according to a New York Times report employs what it calls a “competitive intelligence” team to study its rivals. That team bought anonymized data — including information on Lyft receipts gleaned from customer inboxes — from analytics firm Slice Intelligence.
Although both companies faced criticism over their practices — Slice for obtaining the data and Uber for buying it — business and market intelligence experts weren’t surprised by their efforts. Everyone does it (to some degree)
Competitive intelligence has been around for as long as corporations have, according to Chris Robinson, the senior vice president of research science at ORC International. At its most […]