Marketing professor Bruce H. Clark wrote a paper called. Perceiving competitive reactions: The value of accuracy (and paranoia).

From the abstract: “The data suggest that teams may benefit from being paranoid about their competitors; late in the game, the more competitive reactions a team perceived to its moves, the better the firm performed, regardless of accuracy.”

I have only read the abstract, but I find the last three words above noteworthy and counter-intuitive. Paying attention to competition is helpful if you don’t have accurate information. In reality, you’ll hardly ever have perfect information.

This thought is similar to the theme of Only the Paranoid Survive by former Intel chairman Andrew Grove.

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