So, being at a venture fund is interesting... you get to meet all sorts of interesting people, hear what they're working on, share what you're either working on or thinking about, etc.
So I got an email recently from someone asking if I'd place a call to a company that we might perceive as competitive, in the guise of a VC wanting to make a potential investment.
I think I've been on the receiving end of one of these calls once before, and I know a friend whose company got cold-called by an unscrupulous VC who wanted to get a trial version of their software (!?!?!?) to play around with, when it turned out that this VC had a competitor in their portfolio. What makes it worse is that this VC was particularly slimy, by pretending to be a consulting firm that would use this particular software for a client. As it turns out, they were also particularly dumb... it turns out that if you send a fax from your office fax machine, it's likely to have "SomeRandomFund Capital" at the top of the page.
Anyway, back to present-day : I'm not sure how competitive or not this company actually is. I've met their CEO once, a long time ago, and have met one of their board members more recently. From what I've seen and heard, they're focusing on a different problem (and an important one, so I wish 'em luck). Either way, I am going to look into it more deeply: but I'm going to call around and get information that I'd be able to get anyway, not try and trick someone into telling me something they really shouldn't.