12. On open ground, do not try to block the enemy’s way. On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.

交地則無絶衢地則合交

Sun Tzu

On open ground, Sun Tzu advises not to try to block the enemy’s way. This means that rather than trying to block the enemy’s movement on open, unobstructed terrain, it may be more effective to maneuver around them and try to flank them or attack from a different direction.

On the ground of intersecting highways, Sun Tzu advises joining hands with your allies. This means that when you are fighting on ground with multiple intersecting roads or routes, it may be beneficial to coordinate your efforts with your allies and work together to achieve your objectives. This type of terrain is referred to as “intersecting highways” because it forms the key to three contiguous states, or areas that are connected to one another. By working together on this type of terrain, you and your allies may be able to gain a strategic advantage over the enemy.

On open ground, do not attempt to obstruct your competitors. On the ground of intersecting highways, form partnerships with allies.

On open ground, where barriers to entry in a market are low, it may be tempting to try to block or obstruct your competitors in order to gain an advantage. Instead, it is generally more effective to focus on differentiating your business and offering value to customers.

On the other hand, on the ground of intersecting highways, which serves as a gateway to other markets, it can be beneficial to form partnerships with other businesses that operate in these adjacent markets. These partnerships, or alliances, can provide access to new customers, resources, and expertise that can help your business grow and thrive. Additionally, working with allies can help you to better navigate the complexities of the market and avoid potential conflicts with competitors.