I'm curious to know how most go about gathering information regarding their competitors? I am interested in developing an application that would directly compete with numerous websites and I am having trouble finding effective ways to evaluate my competitors.
I have used alexa.com, compete.com, statbrain.com, and Google Trends. All of them produce pretty similar results, which is basically just a little bit of traffic information.
So I'm just wondering if there are any other effective ways for me to evaluate my competition and have a more accurate idea of what I am up against. How do most start ups determine what they are competing with?