Reach out to the competitors. Get to know them. Be open and many will be open back. Realize as a start-up you have much more in common with them in driving the industry adoption. I think it’s best to have friendly competition the way you’d hope to in sports. Compete to win – don’t get me wrong. But in a gentlemanly way. If you feel the need to have an “arch enemy” to motivate the team (as some CEO’s feel the need) then make it just one firm and befriend everyone else. Reach out to the founders, not the staff. Keep your conversations confidential. I wouldn’t even disclose to the team that you’re having them. They then start to think sinister thoughts.