Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Art of Business

I recently read Sun Tzu's "The Art of Business" and was intrigued with his approach to competition.  I took the following notes:

1. Win all without Fighting
     a. Capture your Market without Destroying it
     b. Use the "Take-All-Under-Heaven" approach leaving everything intact though
     c. The goal is relative market dominance without destroying the industry

2. Avoid Strength, Attack Weakness
     a. Strike your enemy / competitor where they least expect it
     b. Attacking weaknesses is a better use of your resources
     c. Going strength against strength is the preferred method in Western culture
     d. Attack the weakest part of your competitor's value chain
     e. Be the "first mover" to launch a preemptive attack to gain competitive advantage
     f. Find the boundaries of your competitor…capitalize on their vulnerability
     g. Attack a competitor psychologically…attack their plans
     h. To be strong everywhere is to be strong nowhere

3. Deception and Foreknowledge
     a. Maximizing the power of market information
     b. Competitive research and analysis should be deep, conducted ethically, and taken seriously
     c. Learn your competitors strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities and know the marketplace
     d. Know yourself as well as your competitors
     e. Beating the competitor involves deceiving executives about the true nature of your plans

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