Yeah, that subject line got my attention, too, over at OnStartups. Dharmesh Shah was quick to clarify,
What I mean by "competing with customers" is when the customer has the option of "doing it themselves."
He notes that this is common in the business software industry. It’s the old “buy vs. build” decision. I would add that it is common, too, to services and a number of other businesses.
As business people we’ve learned to evaluate the competition.
— Every serious business person knows who the competitors are.
— Most people are aware of alternatives to their category which need to be factored into a competitive analysis.
— Then there is “doing nothing”, which every salesperson knows is an alternative.
But Dharmesh reminds us of that other one we too often fail to take into account, doing it themselves, and he outlines several useful arguments you can make in your own favor when faced with competing with your customer. Go ahead, use one or all of them!