There has been a lot of advice to the contrary. While I understand that as a philosophy – to focus on your customer and not your competitor – on the ground it makes a lot of tactical sense to know what the competitors are up to and how the ecosystem is reacting to their moves.
Marie Prokopets, Co Founder of FYI – the document search saas, wrote this wonderfully researched and argued post in the Product Habits blog. It’s a manual of what one should look out for and ways to learn from your competitors (they come in all forms: 1. Direct 2. Indirect 3.Alternative Solutions and 4. Multiple Tool Solutions) and their current and past customers. Spending a few days doing what is prescribed in the article can provide you with valuable data and action points. For example reading competitor reviews in review sites can provide valuable insights.
I recommend you read this article if you are building a saas, irrespective of the stage you are in. There will be something that you missed and can incorporate into your research and immediate learning.
For example : Are you using the Switch method interviews (a framework created by Jobs to be done).
Where I learnt this # 274
Why you shouldn’t ignore your competitors