1. The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: dispersive ground; facile ground; contentious ground; open ground; ground of intersecting highways; serious ground; difficult ground; hemmed-in ground; desperate ground.

孫子曰用兵之法有散地有輕地有爭地有交地有衢地有重地有圮地有圍地有死地

Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu is discussing the different types of terrain that can be encountered on a battlefield and the implications of each type of terrain for military strategy. The nine varieties of ground mentioned in the quote are:

  1. Dispersive ground: This refers to terrain that is broken up and fragmented, making it difficult for troops to move and maneuver effectively.
  2. Facile ground: This is terrain that is easy to traverse and offers few obstacles to movement, allowing troops to move quickly and easily.
  3. Contentious ground: This is terrain that is disputed or contested by rival forces, making it difficult to gain a strategic advantage.
  4. Open ground: This is terrain that is flat and open, providing few natural defenses or obstacles to movement.
  5. Ground of intersecting highways: This refers to terrain that has multiple routes or paths through it, allowing troops to move and maneuver in multiple directions.
  6. Serious ground: This is terrain that is considered strategically important or valuable, making it a key target for military operations.
  7. Difficult ground: This is terrain that is rugged or inhospitable, making it challenging for troops to move and operate effectively.
  8. Hemmed-in ground: This is terrain that is surrounded by obstacles or natural barriers, making it difficult for troops to escape or retreat.
  9. Desperate ground: This is terrain that is considered a last resort or a final stronghold, where troops must fight to the death to defend their position.
The art of business recognizes nine types of market conditions: fragmented markets; easy markets; competitive markets; open markets; markets with multiple channels; critical markets; challenging markets; saturated markets; desperate markets.

The nine types of market conditions that are recognized by the art of business are: fragmented markets, easy markets, competitive markets, open markets, markets with multiple channels, critical markets, challenging markets, saturated markets, and desperate markets. These markets vary in their characteristics, opportunities, and challenges, and businesses must be aware of these differences in order to develop effective strategies and succeed in the marketplace. Below, we will explore each of these market types in more detail.

  1. Fragmented markets: These are markets that are divided into many small, distinct segments, making it difficult for businesses to gain a foothold and establish a dominant position.
  2. Easy markets: These are markets that are relatively simple and straightforward, with few competitors and low barriers to entry, allowing businesses to enter and grow quickly.
  3. Competitive markets: These are markets that are highly competitive, with many rival businesses vying for market share and customers, requiring businesses to be innovative and aggressive to succeed.
  4. Open markets: These are markets that are relatively unrestricted and unconstrained, providing opportunities for businesses to enter and expand easily.
  5. Markets with multiple channels: These are markets that have multiple ways of reaching customers, such as through brick-and-mortar stores, online platforms, and other channels, providing businesses with diverse opportunities to engage with customers.
  6. Critical markets: These are markets that are considered strategically important or valuable, and are therefore targeted by businesses as key growth areas.
  7. Challenging markets: These are markets that are difficult to operate in, due to factors such as high costs, complex regulations, or other barriers to entry, requiring businesses to be resilient and adaptable to succeed.
  8. Saturated markets: These are markets that are already well-established and have reached a high level of maturity, making it difficult for new businesses to enter and gain a foothold.
  9. Desperate markets: These are markets that are in crisis or facing major challenges, such as economic downturns or natural disasters, requiring businesses to be agile and flexible in order to survive.