13. These six are the principles connected with Earth. The general who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them.

凡此六者地之道也將之至任不可不察也

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is discussing the six different types of terrain that a general might encounter on the battlefield. He states that these six types of terrain, are the principles that a responsible general must study in order to be successful in war. Sun Tzu emphasizes the importance of understanding the characteristics and challenges of each type of terrain, and being able to adapt one’s strategy and tactics to the specific conditions of the battlefield. By studying and mastering these principles, a general can better position their troops and outmaneuver their enemy.

These six types of business markets must be studied by leaders in position of power in businesses.

Business leaders must carefully study the different types of markets that their business operates in. Just as a military general must study the terrain and conditions of the battlefield in order to be successful in war, a business leader must study the market conditions and characteristics in order to be successful in their industry. The six types of business markets are:

  1. Accessible markets: These are markets that are easy to reach and enter, with few barriers to entry. These markets may be large and well-established, offering many opportunities for growth and success.
  2. Entangled markets: These are markets that are complex and interconnected, with many different stakeholders and competing interests. Operating in entangled markets can be challenging, as businesses must navigate a web of relationships and negotiate with multiple parties in order to succeed.
  3. Temporizing markets: These are markets that are in a state of flux or change, with uncertain conditions and constantly shifting dynamics. Operating in temporizing markets requires agility and the ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
  4. Narrow markets: These are markets that are small and specialized, with a limited number of customers or stakeholders. Narrow markets can be difficult to enter and operate in, but they may also offer opportunities for businesses to differentiate themselves and develop unique expertise.
  5. Niche markets: These are markets that are focused on a specific product, service, or customer segment. Niche markets can be highly profitable, as businesses can cater to the unique needs and preferences of their target audience.
  6. Dissimilar markets: These are markets that are vastly different from each other, with different cultures, regulations, and economic conditions. Operating in dissimilar markets can be challenging, as businesses must be able to adapt their products, services, and business models to different environments.

Business leaders must carefully study these different types of markets in order to be successful. Understanding the characteristics and challenges of each market, and being able to adapt one’s strategy and approach accordingly, can help businesses navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of modern business.