Article PDF: 7.5.2 The Spread of Innovation

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Sun Tzu's four rules on how we use the spread of innovation to advance our position.

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This article describes the problem of the competitive landscape is constantly changing in ways that most people fail predict. While momentum from creative surprise evaporates more quickly than we expect, successful innovations spread throughout the competitive landscape much slower than we expect. Worse, that spread is not smooth and constant, but lumpy and variable. The new landscape arises gradually, not from the actions of any one player, but by the decisions by different groups of people at different times. This means that as an innovation spreads, the landscape is broken by different sets of standards at different places that are distributed in unpredictable ways.