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Watching a Competitor do an Intentionally Poor Job Demoing my Product

Published 2020-09-24 // Author Jesse Johnston

I'm not going to name names but in the Canadian Cannabis space there are mainly two players that offer online menus, there's us, Buddi and the other one. As I write this we're competing for a land grab, us the homegrown Canadian company vs. the large American company. Let me also put this out there, our competitor is really good. They have a great product and an ambitious team and I would be lying if I said it was easy competing with them.

I recently had the opportunity to learn a little bit about how they were positioning themselves against us. I sat in on a demo that was presented to a retailer that is using our product and had a demo scheduled with this other company.

It's hard watching someone attempt to rip apart the product you designed. It's not a peer review, it's not client feedback it's someone trying to feed their family by tearing you down and taking your customer away. It's something entirely different. As much as people would think it could be excruciating to watch that, I kind of enjoyed it. No, I'm not kidding, it actually does a couple of things for me:

  1. It pushes me and makes me want to fight back. It lights a competitive fire underneath me and makes me hungry for the win.
  2. It provides me with competitive research and I get to hear from their perspective what our weaknesses are. Guess what I'm going to do with this? I'm going to listen and make improvements where they can be made
  3. It's important to listen to what they're not saying as well. What they're not talking about is usually what's really working for you. If they're shying away from a topic, it's likely that's an area where you have some feature parity or are doing very well.
  4. Finally, what we're doing is clearly working. They're talking about us and trying hard to squeeze us out.

As gut-wrenching as it can be it's important to have an open mind and learn from anyone you can to make improvements that will help you build a better product.