Mailvox: Business is war

G fancies himself an armchair general:

Business “is” war young fellow, and not because Sun said so; it has always been that way. The law of business that is never taught in business school is “eliminate the competition.” The ideal of “mutually benefiting agreements” is window dressing for the dull mass; you are smarter than that.

This is absurd, given that the vast majority of a company’s interactions are with its customers, not its competition. Business, (or trade, exchange, call it what you will), exists regardless of whether there is competition or not, and especially at the most crucial point in a company’s life, the beginning, there usually isn’t any significant competition.

Even when competition exists early in the cycle, the market is usually expanding faster than one single company can grow anyhow. EBay, Amazon and Google are moving into competition with each other now, but coexisted quite amicably in their separate market niches until they had grown into the giants they are today and needed to expand their markets in order to continue their revenue growth.

Competition is the hallmark of a mature industry, which is the least important aspect of the business cycle. Sun Tzu has literally nothing to say about the postive and entrepeneurial elements of business; the fact that this is where the venture capitalists and investors concentrate their best minds and greatest assortment of talent lends support to my position.