8. Mountain forests, rugged steeps, marshes and fens – all country that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground.

山林險阻沮澤凡難行之道者爲圮地

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is saying that this type of terrain is difficult to traverse or maneuver in. This can be challenging for military operations, as it can slow down the movement of troops and make it more difficult to effectively engage the enemy. It can also be challenging for civilians, as it can make it difficult to access resources or travel between different areas.

High competition, strict regulations, technology barriers, large capital requirements, and more - all are barriers to entering a market: this is difficult ground.

Difficult ground is described as challenging market conditions that present barriers to entry and can be difficult for businesses to navigate. Entering a market can be a challenging endeavor for businesses, particularly in industries with high levels of competition and complex regulatory environments. One of the main challenges businesses may face is intense competition from other companies offering similar products or services. This can make it difficult for businesses to differentiate their offerings and attract customers, leading to lower profitability and market share.

In addition to competition, businesses may also have to contend with strict regulations that govern their operations. These regulations can vary by industry and may cover areas such as product safety, environmental impact, and consumer protection. Compliance with these regulations can add complexity and cost to business operations, which can impact profitability.

Another challenge that businesses may face when entering a market is the presence of technology barriers. These barriers can take the form of patent protections, trade secrets, or other forms of intellectual property that prevent competitors from entering the market or copying a company’s products or processes. Technology barriers can also include the need for specialized equipment or expertise, which can be costly and time-consuming to acquire.

In some cases, businesses may also face large capital requirements in order to enter a market. This can be particularly challenging for small or new businesses that may not have access to the same level of financing as larger, established companies. Large capital requirements can make it difficult for businesses to invest in the infrastructure and resources needed to enter and compete in a market.

Overall, the presence of these and other challenges can make it difficult for businesses to succeed in a market, and can be considered “difficult ground” to navigate. Companies that are able to overcome these challenges and thrive in difficult market conditions can emerge as strong and successful players in their industry.