Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

January 19, 2013

Startup Lessons from Chinese Classic Literature

Last 2 or 3 days, I read
  1. Water Margin (or Outlaws of the Marsh). This was Mao Zedong's childhood favourite and adulthood manual. Both version, 70 or 120 chapters, are good. 
  2. Romance of the Three Kingdoms, 4-volume version and 10-volume comics version. This was also Mao Zedong's childhood favourite and adulthood manual.

As usual, I draw some weird lessons:
  1. Water Margin methods are good for rebelling against your own emperor, but not against the Mongols!
  2. Zhuge Liang was so full of ruses and stratagems that even Sima Yi had to admit a few times that, "Zhuge Liang is a genius," "Zhuge Liang's methods are out of this world," "I am no match for Zhuge Liang" etc. Still, Sima Yi won.

Thus, Zhuge Liang's methods are good enough to win battles, but not wars.

No wonder, Carl von Clausewitz didn't think much of initiative.

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