I stared at the sea of snow around me. White as far as the eye could reach. A blank, empty landscape. It was exhilarating at first. No one ahead, no one tailing or overtaking me. Unencumbered, I was completely alone.
It was a hot, muggy day in Shanghai and I was waiting to buy a bagel. The line was long. Everyone was eager for their carb fix. Finally, I reached the counter and pulled out a crisp 50-yuan bill. The cashier’s face dropped. He scowled as he counted out my change. When I grabbed my breakfast and turned to leave, the woman behind me snorted. Nearly everyone was staring with a mix of contempt and irritation.
At this very moment, someone is digging up competitive intelligence on a company (maybe even yours). They’re figuring out how much it’s spending on marketing campaigns, what software it uses to power its website, what paid keywords it is bidding for and much, much more.