23. When there is dust rising in a high column, it is the sign of chariots advancing; when the dust is low, but spread over a wide area, it betokens the approach of infantry. When it branches out in different directions, it shows that parties have been sent to collect firewood. A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army is encamping.

塵高而銳者車來也卑而廣者徒來也散而條達者樵採也少而往來者營軍也

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is describing how to interpret the movements of an enemy army based on the appearance of the dust they are kicking up. He is saying that if you see a large column of dust rising high into the air, it is likely that the enemy is advancing with chariots, which were a type of heavily-armored vehicle used for transport and warfare in ancient times. If the dust is lower to the ground and spread out over a wide area, it is likely that the enemy is approaching with infantry, or foot soldiers. If the dust is branching out in different directions, it could indicate that the enemy has sent parties to collect firewood, which suggests that they are planning to set up camp. And if you see a few clouds of dust moving back and forth, it is a sign that the enemy army is encamping, or setting up camp.

When there is a sudden surge in activity from a competitor, as it may signal a new product launch or expansion. Widespread and diffuse activity could indicate team growth or market entry. Branching activity may suggest multiple projects, and unpredictable activity could mean they are in planning or trying out new strategies.

When a company’s competitor experiences a sudden increase in activity, it could be a sign that they are launching a new product or service. This could be evidenced by an increase in marketing or advertising efforts, as well as a spike in sales or customer inquiries.

Widespread and diffuse activity from a competitor could indicate that they are expanding their team or entering a new market. This could involve hiring new employees, opening new locations, or making acquisitions. It could also be a sign that the competitor is diversifying their offerings or entering a new industry.

If the competitor’s activity seems to be branching out in different directions, it could show that they are working on multiple projects or initiatives. This could involve launching new products, entering new markets, or partnering with other companies. It could also indicate that the competitor is experimenting with different strategies or trying out new ideas.

If the competitor’s activity appears to be more sporadic or unpredictable, it could signify that they are in the planning stages or trying out different strategies. This could involve conducting market research, testing new products, or adjusting their business model. It could also indicate that the competitor is facing challenges or uncertainties and is trying to find a way to adapt or innovate.

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