The Cost of Competition

People reading Sun Tzu for the first time are surprised by how important managing costs are to his system of competition, but before anything else, he teaches that we must manage our resources well. It is easy to spend money in competition and get little for it. the words of John McCain summarizing his campaign troubles can be applied to almost any losing campaign:
"We didn't use the money in the most effective way," he said.
This is why Sun Tzu spends the second chapter of his work explaining how you must minimize the risk to resources in a competitive campaign.