**In this post we’ll unpack all you need to know about Zero-Sum Games and Positive-Sum Games, defining exactly what they are, distinguishing the differences, the key to success and more.**

**What Are Zero-Sum Games?**

A ** Zero-Sum Game** refers to an interaction where one party’s gain

**obtained at the direct expense of others.**

*is*More simply, Zero-Sum games are * win-lose*. An example of a Zero-Sum game is

*since only one person can occupy a position within a hierarchy at any given time.*

**status****What Are Positive-Sum Games?**

A ** Positive-Sum game** refers to an interaction where both party’s in an interaction gain.

More simply, Positive-Sum games are * win-win*. An example of a Positive-Sum game is

**since both parties exchange products or services in a way that benefits them both.**

*trade***The Difference Between Zero-Sum Games & Positive-Sum Games**

Zero-Sum games create * asymmetric *gains. Positive-Sum games create

*gains.*

**mutual**Zero-Sum games foster * competition*. Positive-Sum games foster

**cooperation.**Zero-Sum games * maintain* value. Positive-Sum games

*value.*

**create****Zero-Sum Games Versus Positive-Sum Games Table Summary**

Zero-Sum Games | Positive-Sum Games |
---|---|

Win-Win | Win-Lose |

Asymmetric Gains | Mutual Gains |

Foster Competition | Foster Cooperation |

Maintain Value | Create Value |

**Life Is Both**

From an economic perspective, life is both a Zero-Sum Game and a Positive-Sum Game.

Life is a Zero-Sum game because people are competing for the finite amount of recourses available at any particular moment in time.

Life is a Positive-Sum game because the finite amount of recourses will, through **innovation**, ideally be used to create new recourses, thus expanding the net-total amount of recourses available.

**The Key To Success**

The key to success in both personal and professional relationships is to maximise Positive-Sum Games. In other words, we must pursue the goal of creating win-win situations.

**Summary (TL;DR)**

A Zero-Sum Game is where one person in an interaction loses at the expense of others. A Positive-Sum Game is where both party’s in an interaction gain.

From an economic perspective, life is both a Zero-Sum Game and a Positive-Sum Game since resources are finite but innovation creates new recourses which expands the net-total pool of recourses.

The key to success in both personal and professional relationships is to maximise Positive-Sum Games.