How do you perform a competitive analysis when you and your compeitiors are free to consumers


My site replaces existing technologies and channels for discussion. My competitors are email listservs, discussion boards and direct email. For solving problems and discussing alternatives, those options are like trying to use a telegraph to get on the Internet.

My site however is also free to the end users, so how do I conduct, frame, and evaluate my competitive analysis for my business plan?

Competition Business Plan

asked Oct 22 '09 at 02:57
Rob Allen
631 points
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2 Answers


Since the price is identical, all that means is that price won't be involved! That's OK -- that's usually just one line-time.

The people who need you the most aren't looking as closely at price as they are to this: How directly do you solve their problems?

So come at it from that direction: Not features, not generic benefits, but what specific problems do you uniquely solve? That's the most interesting difference.

answered Oct 22 '09 at 12:02
16,231 points


Some of the competitors you mention have been around for quite some time. When you do a competitive analysis with these existing technologies, the main points you need to take into consideration are :

  1. Existing distribution - how far do they have their reach
  2. Customer focus - are they providing services based on customer feedback and are they really listening
  3. Economies of scale - this doesnt apply for a purely freemium product - however very important to consider if you are thinking about VC investments
  4. Product innovation - speed of innovation, fast iterations etc
answered Oct 22 '09 at 04:09
547 points

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Competition Business Plan