What it feels like when a competitor utterly rips off your entire company (I’m looking at you…
David Hassell

Unfortunately, this simply shines a light on what many companies fail to analyze: whether they have a moat.

In this case, the product itself has no moat around the core “weekly check ins.” This can be done well for free in a spreadsheet or in project management software (e.g., Asana). The UI and less necessary bells and whistles are the debatable value over the free options.

However, 15Five has one solid moat: enterprise customers. Once enterprise customers spend the time to integrate a new software AND build a corpus of “check in” history, at this price point it’d be very unlikely PeopleSpark could poach customers.

I built the largest men’s lifestyle publisher in the US, The Cheat Sheet. However, I learned the very hard way where we had moats and where we did not. It sucks when you discover where you are vulnerable, but it’s also a gift because then you know where to double-down on the actual moats.

Good luck, David. I can say from experience 15Five is a great product. Now make it your life’s mission to put Mitchell out of business ;)