Bringing down a massive Giant is no easy task, but it can be done by adopting more unconventional strategies. Political scientist Ivan Arreguin-Toft has analyzed every war over the past 200 years, fought by both strong and weak opponents. The "Goliaths" were at least 10 times more powerful as their opponents. The Goliaths won around 71.5 percent of the time; the underdogs won just 28.5 percent of the time. What if smaller armies change the rules of war and fight using unconventional means? Their chance of winning shoots up from 28.5 percent to 63.6 percent.
This is the same type of dynamic that can be observed in the classic story of David vs. Goliath-a matchup between underdog and powerhouse. Goliath had incredible armor and a powerful sword and shield. He was a seasoned warrior who was over nine feet tall. David, on the other hand, was a young shepherd with no armor-but he did have a slingshot and five smooth stones. Skilled slingers were a critical part of an army's makeup-they could hit a target as accurately and as far as a good archer. Depending on its size, David's stone could hit Goliath with as much force as a 45 caliber handgun.
Goliath was waiting for a conventional fight-and this would be his downfall. David rushed Goliath with his slingshot and gained a favorable advantage. Changing the rules gave David a massive edge over Goliath. Sometimes, perceived advantages can turn out to be our downfall. Check out the infographic below to learn more.