|Sun Tzu said:
7. There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these
five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.
with few things that are combined into patterns that may succeed or
The human genome is like this. There are only four patterns
which are repeated in endless ways that create the panoply of
In business, understand how a few simple things combine into many
|8. There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white, and
black), yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.
||The first step in
using combinations is to understand well the elements, the building
blocks of patterns.
The next stage is composition, designing blends and patterns that
suit the situation and mood.
|9. There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet,
bitter), yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.
situations there are different basic elements. If you can classify
these and understand them, you can build deliberate combinations.
|10. In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack--the direct and
the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of
Direct and indirect are two methods
that can be used in many confusing combinations, for example with a
sequence of indirect feints that move troops followed direct attacks
into the holes created.
Likewise any two things can combine in many ways, just like the
1101100101 of computer binary.
To succeed in business you do not
need to always invent new ways of competing. New ways of combining
existing methods can be just as successful.
|11. The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. It is like
moving in a circle--you never come to an end. Who can exhaust the possibilities
of their combination?
||This is like yin and
yang, breathing in and breathing out. Each thing creates its
opposite. Attacking the enemy creates a counter-attack, which may be
met with a strategic withdrawal and a pincer movement.
Design battle and war in terms of ebbs and flows, indirect and
direct, defense and attacks.
Winning can also lead to losing as arrogance leads to
carelessness. And losing can lead to winning when sadness turns to
When you are down, the only way is up. And when you
are up, how do you stay up?