According to Francis Bacon, "A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds." What does this have to do with competitive advantage?
If a man (or a woman) makes more opportunities than he (or she) finds, then that man is working hard and being creative. This will allow the person’s company to have a competitive advantage.
If we only take the opportunities that we find, we are not being very proactive. We are just sitting back and waiting for opportunity to fall into our laps. It may do so at times, but it is not likely to happen on a very regular basis.
What Bacon is saying is that, if we are wise, we will go out and look for our own opportunities. We will try to think of new ways to improve the efficiency of our business. We will look for new ways to attract customers. We will look for new sources of talented employees. In other words, we will constantly be trying to make more opportunities rather than sitting back passively and waiting for opportunity to come to us.
If we do this while others do not, we will have a competitive advantage. We will find and make more opportunities than they do.
Bacon's quote means that people cannot rely only on chance or luck to find new opportunities. Instead, people must look for these new opportunities and create them. Bacon's quote applies to the idea of competitive advantage because organizations operating in a competitive business environment cannot simply be content to rely on existing markets or be satisfied with the business that comes their way through passive means. Instead, to win out over the competition, organizations must constantly search the business environment to find new opportunities. In addition, they have to foresee opportunities and markets that have not developed yet and predict new trends and opportunities that might arise in the future. Only by searching out new opportunities can they retain their competitive edge. Companies that rely on passive strategies and existing business opportunities will lose out over the long run.