Focus Your Energies Wisely

Don't spend so much time fighting competitors that you lose sight of what's important.
1 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I once heard that friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. So it's rather naïve to promote the idea that everybody is a friend. Benjamin Franklin believed that we all have enemies as well as friends. However, focusing all your energies on destroying your enemies can be bad policy. Apple Computer fell into this trap, which contributed to its rapid decline in the early 1990s.

Throughout the 1980s, Apple Computer targeted IBM as Corporate Enemy No. 1 and designed numerous ad campaigns that were aimed at destroying Big Blue (or was that Big Brother?). During the time Apple's energies were devoted to waging and winning the war against IBM, Microsoft was working furiously on the product that would all but consign Apple's Macintosh to the dustbin of the Digital Age. This product was a graphical user interface called Windows that would make the IBM PC and PC-compatible clones as easy to use as the Macintosh. Had Apple not misidentified its true enemy (or competitor), the history of the Digital Age might be very different indeed.

Excerpted from Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.