If you have been following Justia’s Free Sixty: 60 Essential Free Law Firm Competitive Intelligence Resource, by now, you should have realized that I love My Yahoo, RSS feeds and inside competitive intelligence. Previously, I had written about using job listings and material contracts from SEC filings for competitive intelligence analysis. Today, I will share with you another great web site with tons of inside competitive intelligence.
Have you ever scoured a competitor’s web site to look for product or personnel information? As companies have grown wise to this practice, they’ve increasingly restricted the amount of information that is being publicly disclosed on their corporate web sites. Even some law firms had adopted this practice and have removed their associates from the firm’s web site to deter recruiters from poaching their human assets. However, there is a way around this corporate firewall.
- LinkedIn. A while back, social networking web sites were the latest fad. A number of them sprouted up for various purposes: career advancement, business networking, dating, etc. LinkedIn falls into the business category and offers registered members access to a network of business contacts. The basic premise of LinkedIn is that each member has a list of trusted friends, who are members. In turn, each of your friends will also have a list of trusted friends, who are members as well. So, when you are looking for a person with a particular interest or skill set, LinkedIn will match you with your friends or friends of your friends who meet your criteria.
Now, for the inside competitive intelligence. Because each LInkedIn member may also provide a resumé, you can view all contacts from a certain company to see what products their employees are working on. LinkedIn will also tell you if your proposed contact is open to employment opportunities elsewhere.
- Greedy Associates Board. The Greedy board is the destination for those seeking the latest law firm gossip and rumors. Associates on this board frequently talk about law firm culture, salaries and other issues.
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Here’s a 2-for-1 deal. Patent filings are another source of inside competitive intelligence. See what products your competitors have in their pipeline. You can also visit the web site of the European Patent Office to see what folks are filing across the Atlantic. And, I won’t even count this one as part of the free 60 law firm competitive intelligence resources.
- FreshPatents.com. FreshPatents.com offers an RSS feed of “patent application highlights.” Of course, this is not a complete feed of all patent applications, just those that are “popular, interesting, innovative, weird and/or kooky”— whatever that means.
- Moreover Technologies – IP and Patents News. Moreover Technologies offers an RSS feed on intellectual property and patents news. If you want something more targeted, you can always set-up a customized IP news feed based on targeted IP keywords using Yahoo News.