A few weeks ago, Uber was once again accused of trying to sabotage their competition. According to Uber's lead competitor, riding sharing service Lyft, 177 Uber employees booked and cancelled over 5,000 rides.
While it is not yet clear on whether they're guilty of this latest accusation, it wouldn't be the first time that Uber has attempted to trash its competition. Earlier this year, they confessed on their blog to booking phony rides on competing services in New York City.
Are these dirty tactics or just competitive spirits at play?
Mark Cuban was recently quoted as saying, "business is the ultimate sport". For people like him, being an entrepreneur is akin to quarterbacking a team to victory. In the sport of business, competition is fierce, there are winners and there are losers.
Startups Anonymous asked entrepreneurs to anonymously share their experiences with their competition. If you're the type of entrepreneur that appreciates a bit of competitive rivalry, you may enjoy their confessions below:
1. "We flooded the market with a bunch of clone products, each with slightly different features (some were pretty much the same). This scared off most of the people trying to break into the market, and we ended up killing off all the sites that weren't driving any value. After about 18 months, we consolidated all properties into one site."
2. "Not a competitor, but someone I despised: I found a few credit card fraud forums, posted the person's business on them, and said, "hey this works, try it""
3. "I applied for various jobs (manager at KFC, warehouse clerk at Lowe's) using the CEO's information. I found it wildly entertaining."
4. "I invited our competitor's cofounder to my facility and scared her off. Also hired a small sales team to poach their key accounts.
Wasn't pretty but had to be done. The market wasn't big enough (yet) for the two of us, and they were getting too much traction.
It worked and they folded. Sadly, I tried to do an aqui-hire but they overvalued themselves and that same sales team poached the rest of the accounts."
5. "I was a victim of the following maneuver: Somebody sent a ton of artificial traffic to my website and YouTube channel (where I had Adsense). As a consequence, Google doesn't allow me to monetize either anymore. "
6. "I flew across the country to take a job with a competitor. Stayed 3 months and walked out with their biggest client."
7. "While we were raising a round of funding, our chief competitor sent their investor to express interest in our round. He played the role very well, to the point where we thought he was investing. Of course, he ultimately passed on investing, offering some BS excuse.
We found out later, after divulging all of our 'secrets', that he was a major investor in the competitor."
8. "Anytime someone new enters our space, I sign up with a slew of fake email accounts I've set up. When I receive their first mailing, I submit spam reports."
9. "We have a really great group of investors that, on occasion, will ask us if a company they're considering for investment is a potential competitor. I go out of my way to make a case for why they are.
The truth is, I've never been worried about any of them. Karma is going to kick my ass someday."