Contacting competitors for information on their documentation

Subject: Contacting competitors for information on their documentation
From: "John David Hickey" <dave -at- toonboom -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 1999 14:15:34 -0500


I'm busily banging away at the documentation at my company, but I'm starting
to wonder if documentation will be able to make the release date of the end
of January (I started this job at this company in September and they want me
to produce 5 manuals in 4 months. Yowsa!).

I've been toying with the idea of trying to contact the writers at the
competition to find out how much time they spent on documentation and if
they were able to make the deadlines dictated by their project managers. Do
you think the writers would be open to sharing that information with me or
would it violate the whole competitor-secrecy thing. Would it be a dangerous
thing to do, seeing as how the competitor might somehow use my inquiry
against us?

I always like to see what the competitor's documentation is like so that I
can compare our own docs and say

1) Praise us! Our documentation is so much better!
2) Give us more time/money/resources 'cause the competitor has better
documentation than us!

Be seeing you,

John David Hickey
Grand Poohbah of Documentation
and proud recipient of two Wing awards

Toon Boom Technologies
Montreal, Quebec, Canada eh?
Tel: 514-278-TOON (8666)
Fax: 514-278-BOOM (2666)
Pag: 514-205-9209

Their site:
My site:

They say the pen is mightier than the sword.
But if you miss a deadline, you'd better bring the sword.
Don't confuse my opinions with my employer's.
Each exists in blissful ignorance of the other.

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