CREATE OR EXPOSE A VITAL POINT
Your opponent may not make a “false movement,” may not leave a vital point undefended. If so, you must force him to make a false movement, must create or expose a vital point.
You may be able to do so simply by striking him. Napoleon would often sting his opponents into ill-conceived and ill-timed counterattacks that would create or expose vital points.
Striking the opponent in combination may also create or expose a vital point, as it will stretch him thin.
A vital point may present itself or come into being through deception. Richelieu once wrote Louis XIII: “As far as Lorraine is concerned, for the time being you must dissemble…and, without binding ourselves, so arrange matters as to give them reason to believe that you do not intend to act against them… As soon as the Dutch have taken the field [thus tying down the Spanish forces], you must send in 40,000 men to conquer Lorraine…and you must do so at the precise moment when our action is least expected.”
I now explain how Napoleon — perhaps the greatest military genius who has ever lived — created vital points, the chief means by which he gained his victories. I narrate one of Napoleon’s greater battles, that of Austerlitz, in which he defeated a force far larger than his own.
I then revisit Bill Gates and Microsoft, show how Gates emulated his hero Napoleon, how he was the Napoleon of business.