17. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.


Sun Tzu

By appearing to be disorganized, one can actually demonstrate a high level of discipline; by appearing to be afraid, one can actually show great courage; and by appearing to be weak, one can actually reveal inner strength. Sun Tzu is suggesting that by using simulated or feigned emotions or actions, one can gain an advantage over an opponent who is not aware of the true intentions or abilities of the person using these tactics.

By appearing disorganized, a business demonstrates discipline; by appearing afraid, a business shows courage; and by appearing weak, a business reveals strength.

A business can gain an advantage over competitors by appearing to be disorganized, afraid, or weak in certain situations. For example, a company might intentionally appear to be disorganized in order to throw off competitors who are trying to predict its next move. By seeming disorganized, the company might be able to surprise competitors and gain a strategic advantage.

Alternatively, a company might appear to be afraid of a particular competitor in order to lull that competitor into a false sense of security. The company could then use this appearance of fear to gather information about the competitor’s plans or weaknesses, which could be used to develop a more effective strategy.

Similarly, a business might appear to be weak in order to encourage competitors to underestimate its capabilities. This could allow the company to surprise competitors with unexpected strength or resilience, giving it an advantage in negotiations or business dealings.

Overall, this quote from Sun Tzu suggests that by using simulated or feigned emotions or actions, a business can gain a strategic advantage over its competitors by appearing to be something other than what it truly is.