Yesterday's State of the Union address clearly demonstrates one of the most basic, non-intuitive aspects of Sun Tzu's Warrior's Rules: that small moves are more powerful than larger ones ([node:content/strategic-principle-day-55-small-steps-are-more-certain-and-powerful link]). After President Obama spoke for 70 minutes on a wide variety of issue, what most people are talking about today is the two second response by Justice Alioto, shaking his head and mouthing "Not true."
We can all agree that conflict is wasteful. But what if the competitor starts the conflict? If their attack produces a dissipating situation, you have said that there is no good defense and that the correct response is to attack what the competitor values. Doesn't this escalate into the conflict we wish to avoid? How do we actually avoid conflict (or wars of attrition) if attacked? Is this what has happened between Google and Microsoft? Regardless of how this battle began, how can either side defend properly against further attack?
Everyday, we read articles on the business battle between Google and Microsoft (click here for today's installment). This battle illustrates the elements of the most common strategic mistake: the waste of resources on attacking opponents ([node:content/313-conflict-cost link]) instead of working on pursuing opportunities ([node:content/32-opportunity-creation link]).