Software Smack Talk Playbook

Software Smack Talk Playbook

Summary: You can predict what one vendor will say about another - just look at where each is in their evolution. Trash talk happens all the time in the tech space. See the game plan unfold before you in this satire post. Enjoy...



I was speaking with my buds at the amazing tech PR firm, Blithering Media. The subject of trash talk came up.  We hear it all the time. I mean what's a press conference or analyst briefing without a couple of really polished digs? I suspect some firms outsource the creation of these pearls to out-of-work comedians. Wherever they come from, Twitter feeds are where they ultimately end up.

If you've got a startup, you're going to hear some smack talk from some of the old guard tech companies that don't appreciate the new competition. Don't take it personal - it's usually a sign that your firm is getting noticed. Your firm is making its way into the sales conversations of your competitors and it is starting to irritate them. You may even find your firm is causing some old school vendor to do a meltdown in front of Wall Street analysts as they try to dismiss your firm.

In time, they'll trash talk your company daily until they decide to buy your firm outright.

So, let's look at the trajectory of smack talk across the lifecycle of your hot, explosive startup.

If your firm is a big dog, established, long-time market leader, your leaders, marketers and sales force have probably thought about using the following sound bites to squash new upstarts. Click image to enlarge.

Image and contents - Copyright 2012 - TechVentive, Inc.

Image and contents - Copyright 2012 - TechVentive, Inc. Click image to enlarge

If your firm is a startup, newbie or up and coming competitor, you're probably tired of the zingers in the previous table. So what are you doing? You've got your own smack talk game plan and it probably looks like this. Click image to enlarge.

Image and contents - Copyright 2012 - TechVentive, Inc.

Image and contents - Copyright 2012 - TechVentive, Inc. Click image to enlarge

When I put these tables together, I had a lot of favorite sound bites that didn't make the final cut (e.g., "George Washington coded there!"). What are some of your favorite trash talk quotes you've heard? C'mon everyone - sharing is good for the soul.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Software


Brian is currently CEO of TechVentive, a strategy consultancy serving technology providers and other firms. He is also a research analyst with Vital Analysis.

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  • Thanks, I'm gonna use that stuff.

    Never know when ya hafta blow smoke.
    • RE: Never know when ya hafta blow smoke.


      I have sat in on a couple of `vendor presentations` where the sales lackey did little more than trash talk the competition. That s--- gets old fast.

      As this "salesman" was leaving the conference room, my boss (the CIO) picked up the phone and called facilities maintenance, and requested a `cleaning crew` be dispatched to the conference room. The maintenance people were told that there was this large pile of bulls--- that needed to be cleaned up. I suspect the "salesman" heard the request on his way out of the room; because we never heard from them again.
      • You were unarmed then.

        Why didn't you call his a$$ with some gems?
  • This trash talking reminds me of Scott McNealy..

    You know, the founder and former chairman of Sun Microsystems. In the mid to late '90s, he spent an awful lot of his time derving Microsoft and its windows operating system. During that glorius decade, it seem everytime a microphone or camera was pointed at Scott, he had some 'bazinga' to hurl at Bill Gates or Microsoft. Zdnet and the other tech media ate it up like hot donuts from krispy kreme.

    Fast forward to the new millieum, Sun Microsystem is no longer an indepent company. And now the founder and chairman of the company that now owns what's left of Sun, is in the process of slowly destroying what's left of it [Sun], while he hurls 'bazingas' at an industry he overlooked and is late to the party.

    [i]Cloud anyone? what clou?. Fusion, Fusion anyone? What is Fusion? Anyone? Anyone?[/i]
    Better answer quickly, 'cause the answer could change anytime now.
  • What Do Your Friends At Blithering Media Call Themselves ...

    ... Blithering Mediots?

    my neighbor's mother-in-law brought in $20418 last month. she has been making cash on the laptop and got a $503200 condo. All she did was get lucky and try the information exposed on this website
  • Corporate trash talk all fun and games untill someone gets bought out.

    then the bought company has to eat years worth of it back. Though for the company owners they would make out like bandits, while their employees get pink slips.
    • Tragedy enough to go around where greed is involved

      Manipulation of the market is the most insidious result of this behavior, imo. Legal skimming I call it.
  • Interesting information

    Interesting information. Very well put up article, not many has touched this subject before.
    Competition is getting fierce day by day. Big business houses are always ready to eatup innovative ideas at their initial stage, not letting them bloom on their own and cause them hazard in the future.

    - Sara