Building a business should be like creating a destination, not erecting a fortress.

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To be successful, your startup needs a “line of attack,” a strategy for “dominating” the market. The first step? Claim your “beachhead.” When that’s been successfully “conquered,” build “fortifications” to protect it from “invasion.” This foothold also serves as a base from which you can conduct further attacks to gain more “territory.”

Military jargon is commonplace in . But, this rhetorical shortcut — that a company is a fortress surrounded by a moat — is misleading and counterproductive. Selling is not about “conquering” customers. Similarly, your business is not your kingdom. And your competitors are not your sworn enemies to be fought with to the death.

As any experienced entrepreneur knows, there is no such thing as “your” market. You cannot conquer customers, and you certainly don’t own them. Nor can you protect them from your competitors.

The customer is sovereign. Your role is to serve.

Starting and running a successful business is not about keeping everybody out

It was around 11 p.m. on a Friday night, sometime in the early, nonstop weeks of the worsening global coronavirus pandemic, when Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo realized she needed help. Every infected person in her state was spreading the virus, on average, to four other people—a worrying rate of transmission, particularly in one of the nation’s most densely populated states.

Rhode Island’s 100 or so contact tracers were working furiously to manually trace the contacts of COVID-19 patients, but they couldn’t keep up with the fast-spreading coronavirus. “We would test people, write down all their information, put it in a garbage bag, tie up the garbage bag, bring it to the department of health and manually go through everything,” said Raimondo speaking at a Fortune Most Powerful Women event on Thursday afternoon. “I learned very quickly that speed matters,” she added, noting that she was probably not the only governor dealing with such low-tech tools at that point.

At that late hour, thinking of the need to quickly track down the contacts of every Rhode Islander who tested positive for the novel coronavirus and get them into quarantine, she called some people she knew at Salesforce, the San …

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America is at a tipping point, as we face the greatest crises since the Great Depression. 

We are confronting four crises simultaneously that are inextricably intertwined: racial tensions revealed in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, the ongoing spread of COVID-19, the ensuing economic turmoil, and political disintegration caused by extreme partisan division. 

Floyd’s killing ripped off the bandage of America’s idealistic facade and revealed the ugly truth that African-Americans do not have equal opportunities. Nor are they afforded the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” promised to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence, which declares that “all men are created equal.”

Equality is the country’s True North—and America has lost sight of it. Income inequality is greater than it has ever been. Disparities between whites and people of color are widening, not shrinking. People of color regularly face racial injustice. The middle class is shrinking and struggling to stay above water. Ill health and diseases like COVID-19 fall most heavily on people of color. Those on the lower rungs of the social-economic ladder are burdened by underpaid jobs, lack of health care, part-time work, and being unemployed. For many, the American dream seems far …