Business is not a battle — what that means for you

2 min readSep 27, 2022

Business is not a battle.

You are a business — even if you’re an employee. And businesses aren’t out to destroy the competition. If you are, you’re missing the point — because there are always losses in battles.

A customer won’t choose your product just because you destroyed your competitor.

Your customer chooses your product for a myriad of reasons. But to select your product they must think you have something better than the alternatives. Assuming there are alternatives.

Because battle can only be on the same playing field.

That means your products must be similar to your competitors. That your customer can’t tell them apart. Which means that you can only compete on price.

And a price battle makes everyone lose.

Why are you fighting with your competitors? Apple and Samsung compete to sell phones, except that they’re on different battlegrounds. You don’t pick a phone from one or the other — you choose an operating system.

You can choose the battleground by making your product different.

Through the product itself, brand, marketing, packaging, terms. Pick a benefit to your customers and make it hard to be imitated — make it your niche or specialisation. Suddenly you’ll be on a playing field of your own.

As Sun Tsu said, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

Defeated businesses compete on price.

Apple doesn’t, because business is not a battle. Any expert has a playing field of one. Choose your playground.




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