Many people like to look at the backlinks that their competitors have, and try to get some of them for themselves.
But the tools available for showing links to other sites do not reflect the importance that Google gives to them, so we could be chasing links that actually do not have much value.
Just as one example, let's say you find that a competitor (who is ranking higher than you) has a link to a .edu site that is a spam comment on a blog; are you going to add your own as well?
Or they have one in a PR0 directory buried on a deep page, will you submit to that directory?