44. When you penetrate deeply into a country, it is serious ground. When you penetrate but a little way, it is facile ground.

入深者重地也入淺者輕地也

Sun Zhu

When a military force penetrates deeply into an enemy’s territory, it is on “serious ground.” This means that the military force is at a disadvantage because it is far from its own base of operations and supplies, and is vulnerable to counterattacks from the enemy. In contrast, when a military force only penetrates a short distance into enemy territory, it is on “facile ground.” This means that the military force is relatively safe and secure, as it is closer to its own base and supplies, and can more easily retreat if necessary.

When you enter deeply into a new market, it is serious ground.  When you enter but a little way, it is facile ground.

When you enter deeply into a new market, you are on serious ground. This means that you have made a significant investment in this market, and a potential failure could potentially jeopardize the entire business. If you have entered a challenging market, but have not abandoned your operations in other markets, you are in a serious and potentially risky position.

When you enter a new market with a limited presence, you are on facile ground. This means that you have a relatively small investment in this market, and may not have faced the full competition and challenges of the market yet. As a result, you may have an advantage over other companies that have a deeper presence in the market.