42. When invading hostile territory, the general principle is, that penetrating deeply brings cohesion; penetrating but a short way means dispersion.

凡爲客之道深則專淺則散

Sun Tzu

When an army invades a hostile territory, it is generally more effective to penetrate deeply into the enemy’s territory rather than just a short distance. This is because penetrating deeply brings cohesion to the invading army. The soldiers will be able to stay together and support each other, which will make them more effective in battle.

On the other hand, if the army only penetrates a short distance into the enemy’s territory, it will be more dispersed and less cohesive. This can lead to confusion and make the army more vulnerable to attack.

When expanding into new markets, the general principle is that taking a deep foothold brings cohesion to the company; a shallow presence means dispersion.

Expanding into new markets can be a major growth opportunity for a company, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. One of the key challenges is the need to establish a strong presence in the new market in order to be successful.

Establishing a deep foothold in a new market brings cohesion within the company. This means that people and teams working on different aspects of the expansion into the new market come together around a common goal. Having a deep presence in the market makes this goal more significant and worthy for people to gather around in a cohesive manner.

On the other hand, if the company has a shallow presence in a new market, it may have a dispersed and less cohesive team due to a lack of a unifying goal to rally around. This may also be due to the limited resources allocated to this new market, leading to a dispersion of people and resources.

Overall, it is better for a business to take a deep foothold when expanding into new markets in order to maintain cohesion and focus within the company. This will help the business to be more successful in the long run and better able to compete in a new and potentially unfamiliar market.