The Art of ‘Ware, a Reinterpretation of The Art of War
In the early 1990s, Bruce Webster wrote and published The Art of ‘Ware (M&T Books, 1995), a reinterpretation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Basically, Webster applied Sun Tzu’s work to creating and marketing IT products. Webster recently updated his original version. If you’re a Sun Tzu fan, you’ll enjoy what Webster has done. (Photo from Wikipedia)
Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
pretty cool spin on classic Sun Tzu
Back in late 1999, Agilent Technologies, the T&M Test & Measurement spin-off of HP Hewlett-Packard, decided to become a key player in the Telecoms Networks I&M Installation & Maintenance market segment.
#1 T&M vendor, leader in the Lab & Production testing business, Agilent was still a small challenger in the I&M field : no brand recognition, no significant marketshare, no visibility at all except with some loyal HP customers here and there.
In less than 3 years, Agilent became #1 Fiber Optics Test Equipment vendor, according to a Frost & Sullivan’ s report published in 2002.
Even better, a product which was of interest for a very small portion of the Telecoms industry at this time – remember the Bubble ? – got a tremendous press coverage for its launch in March 2002 (see : [http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=12844&site=cebit] * by the way, in our case PR worked pretty well ;-).
In parallel, Agilent’s I&M test markeshare almost doubled in the US by the end of 2002.
How did Agilent achieved such outstanding results ? Sun Tzu. We simply applied the Art Of War.
As a challenger, we acted as a challenger – which was quite interesting in the context of Agilent, provided that the whole company was (is still) set to act as a leader (you know what I mean…). For instance, we overcomed our rivals by applying the strategy described by Bruce in the Chapter 3: “Sizing up the Competition”.
Since I left Agilent back in 2003, I’ve got to learn many other markets outside telecoms, working with several companies in different areas : the only ones who win are the ones who apply the Art of War. That might seem dumb, but it’s the very truth.
The Art of War by SunTzu is a classic. Concepts of Oriental philosophy on law can be traced from this great work.
If you want to read The Art of War online then there is a copy here: http://www.mypivots.com/articles/booktext.aspx?bookname=The%20Art%20of%20War
(I assume that if this link is inappropriate in here that Guy will delete it and accept my apologies.)
The Art of ‘Ware, version 2.0
Bruce Webster recently updated his The Art of ‘Ware originally published by MT Books in 1995. As the title suggests, this interpretation of Sun Tzu’s Art Of War is about creating and marketing IT products services.Since the Art of War
I also wanted to change the world when I started; I have changed myself it seems. Nice blog.
I like that book!
Sun Tzu’s teachings are also being studied in some business schools.
Sun Tzu’s teachings should be mandatory in all elementary and high schools around the world, I learned a lot from this book and it’s as significant today as it was back when he wrote it.
Great list! Looking for a Web site with more lists?
It is a great new site where YOU can create and find lists about anything and everything!
I should think about writing the Art of Resistance about the business environment in France…
Hi Guy, I hope all is well with you and your family.
For readers out there, Bruce’s interpretation of Sun Tzu’s Art of War as applied to business is a must-read. You will gain so much.
Marc Duchesne, great post! In fact, I linked to your comment from our website. Sun Tzu’s principles and their effectiveness stood the test of time. The Art of War is widely read and used by many other accomplished leaders like yourself.
Interesting. I read the original book years ago, and found it to contain some interesting stories and points, but for the most part it wasn’t much that was new for someone who had read Sun Tzu and understood IT.
I’m interested in what they’ve updated in it since then. The original was probably a good introduction to Sun Tzu for IT people, just not nearly as revelatory for someone already familiar with the text.