2. Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.


Sun Tzu

The outcome of a military conflict can be determined in a single moment, and that it is essential to be well-informed about the enemy’s situation and capabilities in order to have a chance at victory. Sun Tzu is emphasizing the importance of investing resources, such as money and effort, in gathering intelligence about the enemy, rather than being penny-wise and pound-foolish by skimping on these efforts due to a short-sighted desire to save money. He argues that failing to invest in intelligence-gathering is not just foolish, but also inhumane, as it shows a lack of concern for the lives and well-being of one’s own soldiers.

Competing companies may face off for years, striving for the success that can be determined in a single moment. In this context, to remain ignorant of the competition's strategy and capabilities simply because one is hesitant to invest in market research and analysis is the height of foolishness.

Ignoring an enemy or competitor’s condition because of a reluctance to spend money on intelligence gathering is a lack of consideration for the potential consequences. It is important for businesses to stay informed about their competitors in order to be prepared for potential conflicts or shifts in the market. Ignoring this information could have detrimental effects on a business’s success.