Business Plan Tips : Ancient Business Architects


Business strategy actually has its roots in
some fairly ancient disciplines. And two of my favorite sort of ancient strategists are
both Asian. One is called Myamoto Mushshi. He’s a Japanese samurai who lived around in
the 15 and 1600s. He wrote a book called the five rings. One of the key notions about strategy
that Mushshi brought forward is the idea that if you’re going to be successful, you have
to understand your competitor intimately. What he’s going to do. And you also have to
be intimately familiar with your own tools of your trade if you’re going to be successful.
These are keys to strategy today, and we often forget these kinds of things. Study your competition,
and understand intimately how to use the tools of your trade and what you do. That’s how
you’re going to be more effective. The second is Sun Tzu, who was a Chinese general who
developed thirteen principles of strategy. And I won’t try to go into all of them, but
one of the keys was, that was probably his most important principle, was that an effective
strategy is one that avoids direct confrontation. Costly battles. And the idea is not to run
away from them, but convince your competitor that they really don’t want to compete in
the space that you’re competing in. Two great lessons from ancient strategists that can
really help you in your own business strategy today, even though these were thousands of
years ago.

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