It’s Time for a Product Competitor Database

By Deane Barker on November 25, 2005

Here’s an idea for a good service: a database of products, and some way to match them up with their chief competitors. I was looking for a certain type of product today. I found an example of one, and I wanted to find others. But how do you do that?

What would be handy is a big database where I could input a product name, like “SQL Server.” It would then return a list of all the competitors to SQL Server — Oracle, MySQL, Postgres, Interbase, etc. based on whatever categories SQL Server was in.

Databases are easy, but how about “managed Web site hosting for schools.” If I find one product that creates and manages a Web site for a school, imagine how handy it would be to be able to plug that name in somewhere and get a list of 20 other products that do the same thing. The first company would understandably be distressed that this information was so readily available, but I’d be happy because I could now look over the entire market and make my decision based on that.

The fact is that a lot of companies offering specialized products or services can survive simply because it’s so hard to find them. It takes so much time to find one, that you just go with it rather than track down another one to compare.

There has to be a way to make this easier.