33. It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes downhill.

故用兵之法高陵勿向背邱勿逆

Sun Tzu

It is generally unwise to attack an enemy who is positioned higher on a hill or slope, as they have a natural advantage in terms of their line of sight and ability to use gravity to their advantage in combat. Similarly, it is also unwise to try to stop an enemy who is coming down a hill or slope, as they will have momentum on their side and will be difficult to stop.

In business, it is unwise to take on a strong competitor or defend against one with an advantage.

It is generally unwise to take on a competitor who is in a stronger position, such as a market leader with a dominant share of the market, or a company that has a significant advantage in terms of resources or expertise. Similarly, it is also unwise to try to defend against a large competitor who is making a strong push into your market or trying to take market share from you, as they will have the advantage of limitless resources and may be difficult to stop. In both cases, a more strategic approach may be to find ways to level the playing field or to take advantage of opportunities to undermine the competitor’s position, rather than directly confronting them head-on.

Alternatively, you may identify sub-markets in which the large competitor is not interested in entering and establish yourself in these niche markets. This can allow you to build a strong presence in a particular niche and potentially expand into other areas of the market over time, without having to directly confront the larger competitor.