The Unseen Opportunity

Sun Tzu's strategy teaches that opportunities are both 1) right in front of you and 2) hard to see. Why is something that is right in front of you is hard to see? Because your perspective, which is subjective and not objective, blocks your view. As human beings, we get locked into certain views of our situations, which filter out information that doesn't fit our mindset. Sun Tzu's entire system for strategic analysis was developed to overcome this problem. A good recent example of the last few years is the divergence between how American's feel about the economy and their real economic position. Polls consistently show that Americans feel negatively about their personal finances, yet the facts are that more Americans have discretionary income than at any time in history.
“Between 2002 and 2006, the percentage of U.S. households with discretionary income increased from 52.1 percent (57 million households) to 63.5 percent (73 million households).”
Progress since the eighties has been pretty dramatic:
– 1983 - 33% – 1987 - 30% – 1997/1998 - 52% – 2002 - 52.1% – 2003/2004 - 51% – 2006 - 63.5%
People feel they can afford spending $5 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks and $400 bucks for an iPhone despite their negative feelings about the economy. The "problem" is now that people feel is that they cannot afford a Lexus.