Sun Tzu: The Art of Business War

Business is war. Start ups fight all day long. They fight for customers, alliances, market share, profits. They fight for survival... But the key to winning fights is to never fight. This is the art of business war.

Art of Business War
22. April 2024 by Click insider / Blog

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The Art of War is a quick read/slow think book.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu. The digital version is free, this is the best translation, bi-lingual English/Chinise. The book is so good you may want to own a physical copy, there are some fine prints available, but very many crappy versions too. We have seen about ~50 different versions, and know which one is by far the most beautiful one, and the price is still incredibly low. But we're not revealing this knowledge here, because we're a-holes. It's fun to share, but even more fun to keep some valuable knowledge to ourselves.

Quick read: You could finish reading it on the shortest plane flight, probably even if you're a slow reader.

Slow think: You are not finished with this book once you've read it. It's like the Bible for Christians or toilet paper for people. This book is a companion for life. You don't gain much by just reading this book. You gain from thinking about the content, not just from reading it.

So, to gain the most from this book, stop reading stupid derivative works and opinion articles on how to apply the wisdom of Sun Tzu to your business or your life. Instead, read the book. Yes. Exit this page. Read the book. We are successful. We don't care about our readers, we don't care about you. Read the book, and read it slowly. Then think about the content, the messages within and what it means and how it relates to you and to your business.

But since you're here, and since you're still reading, we're still typing. Because we know you will still be reading. You should really not read more of this page, and instead just read the book.

We just advised you to stop reading here, and instead read the book. But we know you won't, yet. You'll still read this first. And that's fine too. Sun Tzu was a very wise man, but we are even wiser. Seriously. The guy didn't even know how to write great code.

Fact: You Are A Loser, We Are Winners

The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

There's so many losers in this world. Most are losers. They have very little money. They are tied to a salary. They have a boss. They don't own their life. They're slaves, basically. In short, they are losers.

If you want to win, you can't be a loser. Losers cannot win, and winners cannot lose. We all know that.

Being a loser is stupid. It is totally idiotic. You have to be a total moron to be a loser. We can't all be winners, but even winners don't want to be surrounded by total losers. If you're a total loser it means you never win, and that's just plain foolish.

We Win All The Time

Losers may claim this is not possible. It is not possible to always win. Surely you will have to lose some of the time? You're a loser and we understand this is how you think.

He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

We know how to win all the time. This is not equal to claiming we will be able to winning all the time. As Sun Tzu states, one may know how to conquer without being able to do it. Defeat is not something we experience, like, ever. Defeat is for losers. Winners do not lose. We win all the time. How? There are defensive tactics at work as a security against defeat, but when attacking, we ensure 100% wins by only attacking when we are certain of the outcome even before the attack has been implemented.

You're A Loser And We Know It

If you're still reading this it means you're a loser. Of all the intelligent things you could be reading, of all the clever things you could be doing, you are actually reading this. And that's amazing. It's amazing because it's stupid. And now that you're here, and we all know you're a loser, we have at least identified the problem: YOU. You, the loser, are the problem. You don't know how to run a successful business, because if you did you wouldn't be wasting your time here. You probably don't know how to win at life.

So let's fix that.

We don't want you to be a complete loser. Why do we care? Why do we care that you're a loser?

The world is plenty stupid, enough of that, and if our little effort here can decrease the overall global stupidity, that seems like a win-win deal and it's worth publicizing this to the world. Compared to us you're still going to be a loser, but from your perspective you will win big simply by implementing some of this stuff.

Actually, we would love it if everyone could enjoy our standards of living. Because this would allow us to enjoy even higher standards of living. You don't know what we mean by living standards, you do not have a clue, and we're not going to elaborate. We just want you to win more, a lot more.

No, We Don't Care About You

By the way, we're not doing this for you, or the world.

We just want to live in a better world, because we want to live in a better world.

This world is not good enough for us. But we're working on it. We're not just making the world better, we are making our world better for us.

We virtually do not care about you. Fundamentally we do not care about our readers. In itself we do not care about the world, the universe or any externalizations.

We just care about ourselves. We care about our life. We don't want you to have a good life because of you, we don't care at all. But we do care about our life. You may think this is selfish, psychopathic even, or illogical. But you're wrong. Losers are mostly wrong, but even they can understand sometimes. If you are a winner, like us, you know how this makes perfect sense.

We do not care about you at all. Except if you're a total loser, you will only make the world a more crappy place. You will add crap to our world, and we don't like that. So, for our benefit, and only because we care about ourselves, we're going to tell you how to win at life, and how to win in business.

You may think this is selfish, and you are, for once, correct. It is. But it has the added benefit of benefiting others. Pathetic selfless people who think they can change the world, make it better, by disregarding their own lives, are losers. These people actually do think they care about others? They don't even care about themselves, they are not fooling anyone except like-minded fools. This phony act of appearing good is complete garbage. We honestly do not care about you, but we inhabit the same planet as losers like yourself, and we might as well point ways to the tools to make life better for everyone. The Art of War is, we believe, one such tool, if read correctly and implemented wisely.

Relax. We are not going to destroy you. In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to capture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.

The Art of Winning In Business

Since you are such a loser, you probably don't know how to read Chinese. It's one of the basic human skills, just like coding and cooking, being fluent in reading Chinese is just something that makes life better. If you're a slave to your employer and don't have free time, this is what happens. If you have a functioning brain, learning the basics of Chinese will take about eight months, eight years if you're a slow learner. But it's worth it, you can be a slow reader and slow learner, and still come out as a winner. Japanese is another language to master, and of course Arabic, Hebrew, French, Latin, Greek, plus two or three languages of your particular interest.

If you have typos it does not matter, the only thing that matters is dual comprehension, you have to be able to read enough for perfect understanding, and be good enough a writer to get your point across. For speaking, you can easily juggle between languages, e.g. in conversation with a Chinese supplement lacking Chinese language skills with Japanese or English as applicable, either this makes sense or not, and if it does not make sense it is probably because you're a loser. And this is what we're going to fix now. You are a loser, at least from certain points of view, and you do not know how to create a winning business.

The skillful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field.

Your Not-To-Do List

In business, as in life, there are a few basic things to avoid.

Everyone's got a to-do list. Well, almost everyone. We don't. Because, why, just why? If you're free, and not a loser like yourself, if you had been a winner like us, you too would understand, those things are stupid. To-do-lists are stupid.

We value our time, and we value life. Furthermore, we value our freedom. Imagine you could do what you wanted to do. Now look at your to-do list. Is this what you really want to do in your life? Gotcha. You don't need a to-do list to tell you what to do. It's stupid.

In all modesty, as winners, and as humans, there is one sad thing about being human, even if you're almost perfect, like us: Humans are stupidity-prone. We do stupid things. Doing stupid things is minted into human nature. The two good news is (1) stupidity can be avoided and (2) losers can become winners.

As with to-do lists, there are to-be lists. Those make a little sense, but they still feel constrained in some way. Better to have a not-to-do list and not-to-be list.

What Not To Do And Not To Be

In short, what you want to avoid is:

  • recklessness (leads to destruction)
  • cowardice (leads to capture)
  • a hasty temper (can be provoked by insults)
  • a delicacy of honor (sensitive to shame)
  • over-solicitude for your men (exposes yourself to worry and trouble)

For Sun Tzu your men basically meant his armies. For us, it means the whole world, including human population, past, present and future. Losers will not get this. Other winners will get this, but firstly, they won't read this, and if they did, they would disagree as they themselves would claim monopoly on this position. Unfortunately, you're all wrong, we're correct, you will not understand, and no discussion beyond this point will be possible. Let's stick to the things that can be reliably conveyed.

You're a loser, and there's a fix.

We've just discussed one major fix, did you miss it? Don't blame yourself, it's typical for losers to not get it right the first time. Re-read the bullet points above, and make sure to always remember those. Don't know how to remember stuff? We're not surprised, as you have not yet developed the habit of winning. But you need to remember this stuff if you want to win more.

A loser is a reckless coward with a hasty temper and a delicacy of honor, with over-solicitude for his men. Don't be a loser.

What would the opposite of a loser be? Find the antonyms to the description above and there you go. For practice, try yourself first, before reading our suggestion below.

A winner is a prudent hero with a wise temper and indelicacy of honor, with a balanced solicitude for his men.

As prudent heroes ourselves, the aim of this text is to turn losers like you into winners. If you're a winner, you really don't need to read The Art of War, as its wisdom is already embedded in your mentality. But for losers, this book can be a life saver and the perfect business guide. The problem is that losers don't know how to read The Art of War, or rather, they don't know what do do with the material they've just read, they don't know how to apply the wisdom, even when it is served on a silver platter. Everyone can read The Art of War, but very few losers will be able to gain from reading it. The next paragraph will explain how to read the book.

What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

How To Read The Art of War

As we mentioned earlier, the Art of War is not a book you just read. You read it, and you think about it. Probably a good read/think ratio of the book would be 1:9. If you use 1 hour reading it, spend 9 hours thinking about it.

Then, pick your favorite portions of the text, a chapter or a paragraph, and modify the read/think ratio to about 1:99. Spend like 1 minute reading the paragraph (use very slow reading even if you're a fast reader) then spend 99 minutes thinking about what you've just read.

At this point we really do think it would be a good idea to stop reading here, and begin reading the text and then working through it. Remember, it's the thinking you apply after you've read the book that matters. Then live life, do your business things, and keep in mind the Art of War wisdom. Consider the relevant parts in contrast to events in business and life, and think, think think about the relationship between the different components, both the totality of the interspatial elements and the complex exchanges in wordly actions, for a loser this probably didn't make sense, but you should still be able to manage by now.

Just read the text, and spend tons of time thinking about what you've just read in the book, and demand that your thinking evolves. Don't just be satisfied that you are thinking, make it an indisputable requirement that your thinking about these things will mature and grow so that they expand your opportunities and unfold new horizons of how you can win in this world. See? We really don't want you to be a loser, but you're going to make the transition. We don't want you to be a loser, and you don't want to be a loser, which means we're on the same side.

And The Art of War is a great starting point for anyone interested in losing less and winning more, but most people fail to squeeze the juice out of this book, because they just read it and then they don't think about it, let alone apply the wisdom inside.

So again, if you want to be less of a loser, start reading The Art of War, then think about what you've read. Begin to apply the information in the text to your life and your business.

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

You may stop reading now, and instead start to read the original book. Yet, we know most losers would rather spend just a little more time on this page, in case a virtual gold nugget can be found somewhere in this text. There may be a reason why you are still here, and not deeply engaged in Tzu's book. You may not be ready yet. As Sun Tzu said, you do not dive into this book unless you feel ready. Your mind and body must be in the right place, your head connected to the world outside, and you wait until everything is tuned and you are feeling the urge to enter Tzu territory. Fools abuse this book as beadtime material and light entertainment, but the nuggets cannot be utilized unless you are prepared.

Losers Are #1 At This One Thing

There is not much a loser does well, but there is one thing.

The one thing that a loser does well, in fact, and this is something a loser does much better than any winner.

They do this thing so well, they are so skilled at this thing, winners could almost become envious. Obviously, winners never envy, but if they did, this is the thing they would envy in losers. Because they are so great at this thing, this is the one thing where they truly succeed. This is the thing they master. It's their one superpower. And they can in fact use this superpower to their advantage.

So what is it that losers does so well?

As a loser yourself, you might have guessed?

For us winners, the fun thing is, that losers, although they have this superpower, almost always fail to recognize their own superpower.

And it truly is a superpower. It's the thing winners just don't get. As winners, we just don't get this.

Okay, so again, loser, what is your one superpower?

You still don't know? That's all right. You are still reading here, and you remain a loser. It's so funny, winners need to inform losers about their superpower. The only edge they got in life, and they don't know it.

Enough words.

Losers, your one and only superpower is... you are truly adept and experienced at losing.

You know how to lose. This is knowledge, and in this you will find power. We're not joking. You are a world-class loser. And awareness of this fact can be a superpower. Remember, a delicacy to honor is stupid, but as a loser this should not be a problem, as you're probably already prone to shame.

Winners, like us, like the ones you are trying to become, and those who are actual winners, not just losers thinking they are winners, they don't know how to consistently lose. You do. And this is your superpower. Really.

Winners do not have the loser mindset and they can't think like losers. They can try to imagine how losers think, they might even have been losers in the past, but as winners you have to let go of certain thoughts, certain frameworks, certain mindsets. So they forget how to lose. They are inexperienced at losing, unlike people like yourself who lose all the time, or most of the time. You know how to think like a loser. You know how to be a loser. All you are is a loser, and this is nothing to be ashamed about. Actually, it is, but at least you have this one superpower. And this is your single best edge in life. This is your way out. It's your free ticket.

You know how to lose. Use this knowledge well. Respect your one and only superpower, and it will reward your with the best gift ever: The experience of winning.

Attack The Loser Mentality

There are only two ways to quit being a loser. You could directly quit being a loser, or you could quit indirectly. But within this framework, there are the fun world of combinatorics IRL, and this is where the sweet play begins.

In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack — the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of manouvres.

You're a loser and you know it. Now, why? Just why are you a loser? We don't know. Ask yourself. What we do know is that if you're going to become a winner, you cannot continue losing. Winning and losing are incompatible states. Pick one. Winning is easy when you know how to do it, and it is strange you instead choose to keep losing. This is something winners do not get. Losers wreck their bodies, tank their financial futures, work as slaves, rely on a salary, for a winner things they do are like eating out of a trash can. We winners do not get losers like you. What we do understand is that the loser mentality is for losers. Winners must have a winning mentality. Winning by chance is unsustainable, you must develop the correct attitude.

This brings us to the attack. Whether in life or business. You are a loser at life, and since your are reading this, you either have a losing business or you're such a loser that you don't even own a business, you're a slave basically, a slave to your employer, or if you even don't have any income, a slave to the system or a beggar asking for hand-outs. Ouch.

The Wrong Paths

There are roads which must not be followed. As a loser, you know something about losing. But not even you know all things about losing. You could continue losing all your life if you just keep following the wrong paths. You must make considerations of advantage and of disadvantage, and these will be blended together. If you, against all odds, experience a win, don't think you've found the winning road. Understand that variation of tactics is a requirement for sustainable successs. If there were just one universal and eternal way of winning, everyone would have know by now.

Remember, there are five dangerous faults which may affect a general. Obviously, you don't remember, because you're a loser. Also, although you don't remember, you, as a loser, are prone to these faults, but soon you will beware these faults and understand how to avoid them. If you've read The Art of War well, then you should know what this means. If else, stop reading now and pick up the book like we've said. As a loser, you will probably continue reading this text or some other random trash on the internet, instead of doing the hard work of reading the book and thinking deeply about the messages in it.

Stop Being A Loser

You're a loser. You know how to lose.

Don't fool yourself. There are many ways to lose. You will fail once, and fail again. But eventually you too will begin to learn from your mistakes, unless you're a doomed loser. Being a loser forever is a choice. Being a loser is no big deal. You can turn things around. Become a winner. Undo any harm done onto yourself and the world. Do the right thing. As winners, we think you can do it.

In fact, as a loser, and you've read this far, we're hopeful that you will make it. Yes, we truly believe you have what it takes to become a winner.


Make the winning ball rolling. This is gold advice right there.

(...) the energy developed by good fighting men is as the momentum of a round stone rolled down a mountain thousands of feet in height.

You're a loser still, you're not going to magically wake up a winner tomorrow. You will still be a loser for days, weeks, perhaps even years. But you know what's great: If you make the winning ball rolling, even if you won't be able to go on a winning streak like us, you will experience more of those sweet wins, and this will add to your current superpower.

You're a loser. When in difficult country, do not encamp. Doomed losers are those who think they will never win. How do they know? You might be a loser now, actually it's not even a might, let's face it, you are a loser, but you're not a doomed loser. Big distinction there.

There's hope, and if you accept this fact we're, as the winners we are, are very hopeful for you. This is not some positive thinking speak, it's just the facts, unless you are this pathetic creature who thinks everything is hopeless, that stupid self fulfilling prophecy, then we know for a fact you can dig yourself out of that hole you're in. You want to be a winner, be free, enjoy life, have the good things, and you can, just take one step at a time.

Perhaps, some time in the future, you too will have forgotten how to lose. As for now, enjoy your one superpower, learn from your mistakes while you still can.

Now go make the world a better place for us.

Hierarchy of Losers

If this article thought you one thing, it's that you're a loser.

The good news, is that you now know you're a loser. There are billions of losers in this world, and not that many winners.

Winners like us is very rare, and obviously losers like yourself would love to read text like this from start to finish.

Probably millions will read this, all losers of course, and then they will finally understand: It's not just that they are losers, they are in a crowded place of losers. Losers are everywhere, and many eventually visit this page.

The losers of this world must not stand united. If you stand with other losers, your chances of winning are zero. As Sun Tzu said:

If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

Losers, do not rest. And losers, become divided. This is what you must do to win. You must join the winners by becoming one of them. The only way for a loser to win, is to stop losing and start winning. So simple, yet you aren't doing it. Why? Because you're a loser, that's why. Obviously, you cannot become as great as us, but you may still win in life and in business. We'll let you have your victories. It's your choice. Chose to win.

All you losers now know this: There is a hierarchy of losers. You are probably not the worst loser to read this, but one reader must be at the bottom. That person might in fact be you. You, yes that is you the one reading this, might actually be the lowest low of losers to ever read this text. The good news is that hierarchies are dynamic, and just because you're at the bottom, does not imply that you cannot move up the hierarchy.

That is the one privilege losers have that winners like us do not have. We can't move up the hierarchy. We're at the top, there is no where for us to go, except to stay in our place. Obviously, we did trick you there, because hierarchies are not static. As eternal winners, it would not be possible for us to descend into losing territory, but we could do better than just staying at the top. That's the thing with winners, we don't just want to stay at the top, we want to make the tops go higher. The sky is not the limit, and only losers believe that eventually things will come crashing down. It's just not true.

There's infinitive possibilities in all directions.

For us, it's always about moving up, winning more, adding wins.

It Can Always Get Worse, Even For Losers Like Yourself

We can't even perceive how horrible it must be to be a loser like you. Yes, it probably is even worse that we can conceptualize at this point. But this much we know: Things can get much worse for you.

If you're a loser, and think you've hit rock bottom, that is stupidity at work. Just as there are no limits, no wall above the sky, there are no floor on the way down. You're a loser now, but if you find comfort in the fact that you're hit rock bottom, you're not only a loser, you are a fool. Sustain that illusion, and before you know it you will begin to envision your current loser life. It can always get worse.

The loser mindset is a choice.

You don't have to be a loser. There is this thing, called the compound effect, which works its ways in both directions. If you lose, you will continue to lose more.

The one way to stop this is to stop losing.

And how do we stop losing guys?

Start losing less by winning more.

It's that easy. Plain and simple. You may think this sounds dumb. You're dumb. Think this is stupid? You're stupid. You are a loser, and you are stupid. You are stupid, remember, we went over this already, stupidity is a central part of human nature and this is why you are stupid. We're all stupid. But you are not only stupid. You are a stupid loser. We're stupid too, yet we are winners. The difference between winners like us and losers like yourself, is that while all humans have the tendency to think and act stupid, we are conscious about it to the point that we avoid it.

Only A Loser Would Read This

Losers like yourself will read this, instead of actually doing something that would help you win in life.

Although we think we are much more skilled than the Sun Tzu fellow, the guy did take his time to write a pretty decent manual on how to not be a loser like yourself.

But losers like yourself do have this weird habit of reading derivative works of the original, mostly because they lack knowledge in reading Chinese, but they do not even read the english version. What do losers like yourself do? They search for The Art of War summary on the internet, they skim the Cliff-notes version, they read reviews of the book. Losers read what others think of the book. The book has stood the test of time, it's great and a very good manual for losers. But losers just don't get it. Even if they do read it, they read it once, or twice, or many times, but they don't think hard about what they've read. And they never implements the tactics, strategies in it, they fail at extracting the wisdom, because, as losers, this is what they do.

All warfare is based on deception.

We really do feel for your losers, or actually, we don't. But it's sad that we have to live in a world with so many losers. If you just could lose less, win more, and win like we win, it's like you win and enjoy winning, but you win in win-win ways, making the world better for us, while making the world better in general, even though we really did not intend to do anything for anyone else. We just want to make the world better for us, and we don't care about you and your loser life. Get it? No you do not get it. If you got that, you would not be reading this. You would be reading The Art of War by now, but no, not you, losers like you keep reading this text, perhaps as you hope to find the solutions to all your problems here.

If you've read this far, you could have read almost the complete The Art of War instead. Basically illustrates how much of a loser your are. Yet, we're hopeful, because you can always move up and down in the loser hierarchy, and since you now have been exposed to us, and some subliminal messages delivered by true winners of this world, it is hope, after all, that you too some day may be a winner.

You can never be a winner in our world, but, and if you get this, you're good:

You can be a winner in your world.

Now get out of here, start winning. We're so successful we really don't need readers. While other website and media outlets are using their pathetic whoring tactics to acquire readers, visitors, viewers, we really don't care. We're at the top. We don't need any readers. Losers like yourself will not understand. The world, the world views, from where we stand, there can only be one winner.

Are you still here? Give credit where credit is due. If you're still reading, you are a loser for sure. Even if you've just scrolled your way down here. Congratulations! Of all the things you could have done, you did this. You're here. You have one life, time is never something you will be given more of, and you keep reading this. Fantastic. What else do you want from us? Get lost. And don't come back here unless you have made some wins. We do want you to win, remember. Win for us. Perhaps in the future, you will find something on this website that could help you achieve more in life and business, but for now, just stay busy reading or re-reading The Art of War.

The Winning Mentality

Winning is easy. Losing is hard. Why do people chose to lose? As winners we really do not understand.

Losers, this is how you win.

  1. Don't fight if you can't win. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
  2. Know how to handle anything. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
  3. Your people must adopt your values. He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
  4. Be prepared and wait for the unprepared. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
  5. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

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