66. Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear, and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground.

先其所愛微與之期

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is suggesting that a military leader should anticipate the moves of their opponent and try to gain an advantage by taking control of something that their opponent values or considers important. This could be a strategic location, a resource, or a valuable ally. By doing this, the military leader can put themselves in a position of strength and try to shape the circumstances of the conflict to their advantage.

Additionally, Sun Tzu advises that the timing of the arrival of the military force on the ground is important. By carefully choosing the moment to engage in battle or to make a strategic move, the leader can increase their chances of success.

Obstruct your competitor's moves by securing what is important to them, and carefully plan the timing of your own actions in the market.

A business should try to gain an advantage over its competitors by identifying and acquiring key resources that are valued by them. This could involve securing a valuable supplier, securing a strategic distribution channel, or acquiring a company that is important to the competitor’s business. By doing so, the company can obstruct the competitor’s ability to access these resources and potentially disrupt their operations.

In addition to securing valuable resources, the timing of one’s actions in the market is important. This might involve carefully planning the launch of a new product or service, or carefully timing the expansion into a new market. By considering the timing of these actions, a company can increase its chances of success in the market and potentially gain an advantage over its competitors.

Overall, this quote is emphasizing the importance of being proactive and anticipating the actions of one’s competitors in order to gain an advantage in the marketplace.