36 Strategies

36 Strategies

Postby winston » Wed May 07, 2008 7:03 pm

The first six strategies are called Advantageous Strategies. They are used when time and resources are to one's advantage. There is no need to rush and detailed planning can be done.

1) Deceiving the Heaven to cross the sea ( Man Tian Guo Hai )

It means to create a false impression to distract the target. It works because people are more careful when in unfamiliar surroundings but tend to be careless in familiar situations.

Example:-
1) Free trial period with money back guarantee
2) Free or low cost lessons on usage of product / service
3) Allowing products to be bought piecemeal eg. Ikea
4) Selling a basic unit with options for upgrading or add-ons
5) Selling Game Consoles (Nintendo - GameBoy, Wii ; Microsoft - XBOX360 ; Sony - PlayStation, PSP) at an affordable price (Microsoft makes a loss for every console they sells) and making the profits from the Games (Very High Profit Margins), where the consumer will likely continue to buy once they are hooked to gaming ( from tankie )
6) HP Printers. The printers are cheap but the ink refills are expensive.
7) Razors - they can give u the set for free but u got to buy their razors for refill ( from HengHeng )

Historical Background of Strategy # 1 ( Deceiving the heaven to cross the sea ):-

"Heaven" here means emperor. So this strategy meant deceiving the emperor to cross the sea. Supposedly, during the Tang dynasty, an emperor wanted to lead his troops to battle. However, he had to cross the sea first and he did not like the vast water.

However, one of his Generals, tricked the emperor into having a feast in a big tent. The feasts went on for a few days inside the tent. However, the tent was actually a ship. When the king found out about the trick, he was almost on the other side.

===================

I would recommend anyone to read the book:- The 36 Strategies of the Chinese by Wee Chow Hou & Lan Luh Luh. My copy was bought in 1998.
Last edited by winston on Wed May 07, 2008 7:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby winston » Wed May 07, 2008 7:13 pm

Why is it called 36 Strategies ? Six multiplied by Six is 36. The word "calculation" conceals another word, "strategy". In the application of a strategy, careful calculation is required.

Only when one is able to calculate the pattern of how a situations develop, he will be able to find the required strategy. A strategy cannot be detached from an objective assessment of a situation. It cannot work by subjective imagination.
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby winston » Wed May 07, 2008 7:18 pm

The second Advantageous Strategy is "Beseiging Wei to Save Zhao" ( Wei Wei Jiu Zhao ).

Instead of an upfront confrontation with an enemy, sometimes it is better to wait for a better opportunity to attack him, when he is weaker.

Historical Background:-

During the period of Warring States, many States were fighting against each other eg. the States of Wei, Zhao, Qi etc..

One day, the State of Zhao was attacked by the State of Wei. The King of Zhao then asked for help from the King of Qi.

The King of Qi sent his General Tian Ji to save Zhao. Tian ji wanted to have an upfront confrontation with the Wei's army at the capital of Zhao. However, he was advised by Sun Bin, to attack the capital of Wei instead.

Tian Ji then attacked the capital of Wei. The Wei's troops were then forced to return to Wei from Zhao. On the way back, they were ambushed by the troops of Qi.

The State of Qi came out victorious. Not only did the State of Qi destroyed the State of Wei, the State of Zhao also owed the State of Qi, a very big favor.

Application:-
1) Compete only in areas where you are stronger eg. service, product etc.
2) Compete in areas ignored by your competitors
3) Create your own niche market
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby winston » Wed May 07, 2008 7:18 pm

The third Advantageous Strategy is "Killing with a borrowed knife" ( Jie Dao Sha Ren )

To manipulate a stronger party to unknowingly destroy one's enemy or to obtain a benefit. This strategy is used when one lacks the resources to accomplish one's goal.

Examples:-
1) To use consultants to suggest drastic policies eg. retrenchment of workers
2) When entering a new market, seek a Strategic Alliance or JV with an established player in that market
3) To set up "phantom accounts" in a forum and thereafter, to use these phantom accounts to support one's idea in a forum :P
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby winston » Wed May 07, 2008 7:20 pm

The Fourth Advantageous Strategy is "Conserving energy while the enemy tires himself out" ( Yi Yi Dai Lao )

Win by waiting patiently for the enemy to exhaust himself before launching an attack. To do that, one must also be in an advantageous position and sufficiently prepared, in case the enemy springs a surprise attack.

Applications:-
1) Do not chase after a counter has run up a lot. Wait for the retracement
2) Do not catch a falling knife. let the knife fall and hit the ground first.
3) It pays to wait when entering a foreign market that is chaotic with undefined rules and regulations
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby winston » Tue May 20, 2008 10:39 pm

The Fifth Advantageous Strategy is, " Looting a house on fire " ( Chen Huo Da Jie )

When the enemy is in a big crisis, that is the time to destroy him.

Examples:-
1) During a stock market crash, a buyer may intentionally put in a very low bid, hoping that a desperate seller has no choice but to accept that price. In this case, there are desperate sellers may have to meet margin calls or contra deadlines.
2) Scarcity of a product will always produce opportunities for the "looters" eg. sold out concerts, movies, sporting events etc.
3) After a catastrophic event eg. flood, earthquake etc, unscrupulous businessmen may jack up the prices of essential items.
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby winston » Wed May 21, 2008 10:11 pm

The Last and Sixth Advantageous Strategy is " Making a feint to the East but hitting out in the West " ( Sheng Dong Ji Xi )

When the enemy is in a state of confusion, he will not be able to clearly assess a situation. Neither will he be able to cope with sudden and unexpected changes in circumstances. A good strategist defeats the enemy by taking advantage of him, when he had lost control.

Examples:-
1) One may post an encouraging article in a forum on a certain counter, with the ulterior motive of wanting to sell the counter. This is normally done by "public person" who already has a certain amount of credibility. And such "operation" normally works when the market is at an euphoria stage.
2) A big boy may sell a counter first. When the news is out. He may turn around to buy the counter when the others are selling.
3) A "public person" may recommend a stock that he is trying to sell. Again, it works when the market is very bullish.
4) A "public person" may express very negative remarks on the market hoping to make it fall further and profiteering from it as he is short the market. This works when there is a lot of fear in the market.
etc..
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby winston » Tue May 27, 2008 8:52 pm

The next 6 Strategies are called Opportunistic Strategies.

They are to used when vulnerabilities can be exploited.
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby winston » Tue May 27, 2008 9:10 pm

Strategy 7 - Creating Something Out of Nothing ( Wu Zhong Sheng You )

Examples:-

1) The use of auspicious symbols and numbers to sell something at a higher price
2) Product or Service Bundling - product or service that is included in a package. Often, they are not really needed
3) Over-stating the reserves of a mine
4) Over-stating revenue
etc.
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Re: The 36 Strategies

Postby helios » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:28 am

Strategy 8 - Secret Escape through Chen Cang (暗渡陈仓) an du chen cang

示之以动,利其静而有主 、 益动而翼。

解释:

- 示之以动 = one should pretend to expose (hint at) one's movements (动态);
- 利其静而有主 = lie low profile until one launches a surprise (focal) attack at e enemy's [company's] weakest link;
- 益动而翼 = benefits from e movement(s) like a battle (possibly, an ambush) that attacks from e wind direction e enemy least expects.

Examples:
1. Contingency planning in business; one hopes that e original plan will work well. however, in e event that e plan A fails, an equally effective plan B is in place. e alternative might turn out to be more effective;

2. Use of "Shell" and project-based companies [possibly] to evade taxes. at times, these "shell" companies are used for investment to do acquire other companies w/o disclosing e buyer's ID, international transfer pricing, etc. [one wonders how true - when this applies to modern context - 21st century];

3. "Escape" route planned against any potential legal liabilities.
Last edited by helios on Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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