Competitive analysis, presented on a map

A while ago I wrote about John Battelle's excellent points of control map. In particular, how it would be good to have such a tool for mapping competitors in any industry.


This comment brings to mind the similarity between Battelle's map and the map used in games such as Risk ...


... or Total War ...


... or indeed Diplomacy ...


One thing all these games have in common, in which they reflect real life/history, is that some of the moves that countries make are almost forced upon them. Germany having to cope with two fronts, England having to gain a foothold on the mainland, anyone invading Russia having to protect long supply lines. Whatever the game or the historical setting, or the player behind each country, geography forces similar behaviour.

This would be a particularly interesting aspect of using such maps as a competitive intelligence tool. If (it's a big if) a map were created that accurately reflected the boundaries between companies, and the market 'landscape', it might be found that some companies have to behave in certain ways regardless that they may prefer to do otherwise. In the same way that we take for granted advice never to start a land war in Asia, or the importance of the Suez canal, aspects of competition would become equally transparent. Competitor reactions to events might become predictable. That would be useful intelligence.