Win First, and
then Go To War
Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War,
believed that victory is won long before the
confrontation and insisted that a skilled
warrior can observe, calculate and outwit
the adversary without ever engaging in a
battle. ‘Victorious warriors win first and
then go to war, while defeated warriors go
to war first and then seek to win,’ he said.
This philosophy works in any competitive
environment where people, or companies find
themselves contesting with one another for a
To Know Your Enemy, Become Your Enemy
Make it a habit to take another’s point of
•If you were your target customer group, how
would your disruptive offering seem to them?
What they might dislike or be suspicious of?
What existing ties may cause their strong
resistance to change? What could make them
abandon their old habits and switch to your
•If you were your multi-faced and
multi-faceted competitor, how would you kill
your innovation? Would you target the team,
the partners, the market, or all of them?
How could you outsmart the competitors and
prevent or solve problems created by them?
How could you turn these problems to
•If you were the Mr. Resistance-To-Change,
what barriers would you erect inside and
around your project? How could you overcome
•If you were the Mr. Bad-Luck, what failures
would you cause in your project, technology,
organization, processes, partnerships or
customer acquisition approaches? How could
you reduce these risks or turn failures to