I get Sam's point, and I like the way he pushes us to push the envelope and try new things. Part of me really likes the idea of just putting competitive information out there and letting people have access to it (as well as the ability to change it as needed).  That said, I always think putting information on your competitors out there is very dangerous and tricky, and never seems to be worth the risk. Here's why:

 

 

 

 

  1. Impossible to keep up to date: Knowing what features the competitors have and trying to keep it current is a monumental task. We just don't have the time to pay attention to new releases and new features.

  2. Breeds distrust among other players: Let's face it -- the software industry is all about coopetition. Putting competitive information on the public site can burn bridges with companies that could otherwise become our best partners.

  3. Customers are smart: They'll figure out what the competition is on their own, and will do their own comparison. Why would they trust our analysis for a big decision like this?

  4. How do you measure?: By what measuring stick do you compare these different Enterprise 2.0 collaboration systems? Everyone takes a different approach to collaboration/content creation -- it's not a mature market, which is what makes it so great. It's not like claims processing software where you can check off if you have a PDF conversion feature. **

  5. Who do you include?: Again, there are lots of different applications approaching the problem in lots of different ways. We may offend just as many companies by not including them.

  6. Makes us look defensive: Publishing competitive information can often be seen as an overly defensive tactic -- people can be put off by companies that push themselves too hard against other players. The first rule of PR is not to bash the competition, and people may perceive this sort of matrix as bashing.

 

 

 

 

In short, it's a heck of a lot of work to keep this thing going, and it only serves to upset other potential partners and friends as well as confuse customers.