When you grew up you “learned” by memorizing lots of information. Math formulas, historic names and dates, grammatical rules and all 50 states and capitals.

With the internet and Google in particular, learning shifts away from knowing information to knowing how to find the right information and then how to apply it.

Do a competitor analysis from your search bar

Lately I’ve been using an incredibly simple method for quick & dirty competitor analyses.

Simply search for your starter company followed by “vs”. Then let Google’s autocomplete work its magic.

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What Can You Learn With Such a Short Search?

Create a list of major competitors in a few short keystrokes. Heck, you don’t even have to actually do the search since you can get your results from the list of autocomplete suggestions!

Or simply figure out what an app actually does. When I heard about Haiku Deck this weekend and wasn’t quite sure what they did, this trick told me right away it’s like Keynote, an app I’m already familiar with.

Another idea – use this trick to figure out if a new app you’ve heard of has hit the mainstream yet. Check out the Zapier alternative Kevy and you’ll see that Kevy is still emerging.

This works pretty well for me. Do you know of any other ways to quickly identify other players in the market space?