Success is rarely achieved by underestimating the competition. 

Imagine you work for software Company Z, they have no respect and hate software company X to the point that none of Company X’s stuff is ever used by Company Z, no matter how useful it is.  This is good in that Company Z is not helping its rival to be more profitable, and of course the stuff Company Z uses is more than adequate to do everything it needs. However the staff of Company Z have no idea how good their rival is, moreover trashing the competition by rote rather than from an appreciation of it is naive, even if this is just done at Company Z’s internal meetings.

This approach also makes talking to customers difficult for two reasons:

  1. Customers may have already bought rival solutions from Company X and rubbishing them would be insulting to these customers.
  2. In the real world many customers run mixed environments, which might be a strategy (e.g. buying best of breed) or simply as the result of a merger or devolved purchasing power letting each department/division choose what it needs.

Life is different at Company X because they don’t have any mantra or policy about using non company X software and devices. Rather employees are encouraged to use the home grown stuff , but also to evaluate, learn and test what else is out there, not just in some test lab but right across the business.  This creates respect for what else is out there, and gives a better understanding of what customers need.   This should not translate into, “ooh they have a button that can do this so we should do the same” , rather it should be about “this is good, but where is it not so good” , and “this has  taken off and we need to at least provide interoperability with it”, and possibly “that’s a great fit with what we do - let’s get together”.

I could also argue that by being more respectful to others, Company X will probably be a nice place to work, but actually I don’t have to argue because I work for Company X.