37. To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy’s numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence.

先暴而後畏其衆者不精之至也

Sun Tzu

It is a sign of poor intelligence to start a conflict with a show of force and then become afraid when faced with the enemy’s numbers. Sun Tzu is making the point that it is important to carefully consider the enemy’s strength and make a plan accordingly, rather than simply acting on bravado and then backing down when faced with a superior force.

To start a business venture with a bold and confident approach, but then become intimidated by the competition's size and resources, shows a lack of insight and foresight.

Starting a business venture with a bold and confident approach is generally seen as a positive thing, as it can help to establish a strong brand and attract customers and investors. However, it is important to carefully consider the competition and make a plan that takes their size and resources into account. If a business becomes intimidated by the competition’s size and resources, it may be tempted to back down or make concessions that are not in its best interests. This lack of insight and foresight can have serious consequences for the business, such as losing market share, damaging its reputation, or even going bankrupt.

Imagine a company that is launching a new online shopping platform, with the goal of competing with Amazon and other major players in the e-commerce industry. The company is filled with excitement and confidence, and they are eager to make a big splash with their launch. However, they have not done their homework and have not carefully studied the competition. As a result, they are not prepared for the sheer size and resources of the competition, and they become intimidated by their success. They start to make concessions and compromise on their vision in order to try to compete with the larger companies. This lack of insight and foresight can have serious consequences for the company, such as losing customers, damaging their reputation, and even going bankrupt.

In contrast, a company that has a clear understanding of the competition and makes a plan accordingly is more likely to succeed. For example, imagine another online shopping platform that is also launching in the same market, but this time they have carefully studied the competition and identified a niche that they can serve better than the larger companies. They are confident in their ability to provide value to this niche, and they make a plan that focuses on building a loyal customer base and providing excellent customer service. As a result, they are able to grow their business and gain a foothold in the market, even in the face of fierce competition from the larger companies. This approach shows insight and foresight, and is much more likely to lead to success for the business.