The Pawn Rule

—  May 27, 2018  —

The Pawn Rule

Decision making is paramount when it comes to running a business. You have to keenly analyze the parameters involved so that you can make a decision pertaining to the functionality of your business. Chess is so similar to business. The goal is to conquer your opponent and in trying to do so, you have to make sure you are not outwitted. In chess, each move you make defines the strategy you are using. Therefore, one wrong move and you may lose the game. One strategy you can use is the pawn rule.

How does the Pawn Rule apply to business?

When starting a chess game, most players move the pawn first. In most cases, they already have a well-calculated plan on how they will play. For most startups, you have so many decisions to make that will define the path by which your business will grow. The pawn only moves forward which means it can never go back. Therefore, if you are faced with two mutually-related choices, you have to choose the one you can easily reverse in case of any issues. If you closely examine the running of many businesses, you will realize how often this concept is used.


There are many scenarios where this concept applies. When hiring new personnel, you have to check their credentials and how they relate with others, to make sure you are hiring the right person for the job. Any wrong decision may lead to losses or slow production rate so you have to take care while doing so. Another scenario is when you are building the features of a product you are selling, make sure you have a clear understanding on whether the product actually has that feature. Any mistake could have grave consequences that are irreversible. When partnering with other companies, you have to analyze how that move will affect your business. The pawn rule is mostly applied when making a decision from an optimal point of view rather than an ethical point of view.

Why is it important?

Your business must be flexible enough to accommodate the changing needs in the market today. Therefore, you have to be ready to make decisions that affect your business optimally, that is, with minimal repercussions. Sometimes, the resources your company relies on may not be enough and you have to make the bold on how to move forward. The pawn rule will help out here. When new opportunities arise, you have to make a decision on the course to take and the resources required.


Sometimes, any decision you make may not be the best decision. You may use this concept and still not make any impact on your company. Some experts say that it is better to first analyze how each approach would affect the company than actually learning this along the way. Therefore, creating a product which you will have to keep changing according to the rising trends may not be as beneficial. Study the market to determine whether will require the pawn rule or not.

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—  Banner Schafer  —