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Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (February 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591396190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591396192
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (380 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kim and Mauborgne's blue ocean metaphor elegantly summarizes their vision of the kind of expanding, competitor-free markets that innovative companies can navigate. Unlike "red oceans," which are well explored and crowded with competitors, "blue oceans" represent "untapped market space" and the "opportunity for highly profitable growth." The only reason more big companies don't set sail for them, they suggest, is that "the dominant focus of strategy work over the past twenty-five years has been on competition-based red ocean strategies"-i.e., finding new ways to cut costs and grow revenue by taking away market share from the competition. With this groundbreaking book, Kim and Mauborgne-both professors at France's INSEAD, the second largest business school in the world-aim to repair that bias. Using dozens of examples-from Southwest Airlines and the Cirque du Soleil to Curves and Starbucks-they present the tools and frameworks they've developed specifically for the task of analyzing blue oceans. They urge companies to "value innovation" that focuses on "utility, price, and cost positions," to "create and capture new demand" and to "focus on the big picture, not the numbers." And while their heavyweight analytical tools may be of real use only to serious strategy planners, their overall vision will inspire entrepreneurs of all stripes, and most of their ideas are presented in a direct, jargon-free manner. Theirs is not the typical business management book's vague call to action; it is a precise, actionable plan for changing the way companies do business with one resounding piece of advice: swim for open waters.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“This breakthrough book is essential for any strategist or entrepreneur who wants to move out of intensively competitive, shark-infested waters and into an opportunity- filled, open ocean.” — Business Insider

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Customer Reviews

I tracked down the book and read it.
Henry Cate III
I recently read, "Blue Ocean Strategy " How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant" by Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.
Jim Estill
This book will make you think outside the box when it comes to your competition.
Romeo Richards

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

545 of 582 people found the following review helpful By Peter Leerskov on January 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The authors have published many articles over the last decade on Value Innovation. This is their first book. It summarizes their extensive knowledge on out-of-the-box strategic thinking.

What is a BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY? The authors explain it by comparing it to a red ocean strategy (traditional strategic thinking):
1. DO NOT compete in existing market space. INSTEAD you should create uncontested market space.
2. DO NOT beat the competition. INSTEAD you should make the competition irrelevant.
3. DO NOT exploit existing demand. INSTEAD you should create and capture new demand.
4. DO NOT make the value/cost trade-off. INSTEAD you should break the value/cost trade-off.
5. DO NOT align the whole system of a company's activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost. INSTEAD you should align the whole system of a company's activities in pursuit of both differentiation and low cost.

A red ocean strategy is based on traditional strategic thinking - e.g. Harvard's strategy guru Michael Porter.

Some cases:
* Airline industry price wars result in bankruptcies and low profit margins. Southwest Airlines creates a new market by offering the speed of air travel with the low cost and flexibility of driving.
* Golf equipment industry competes to win a greater share of existing golf customers. Callaway Golf creates "Big Bertha", a golf club with a large head that attracted new customers to golf that had been frustrated by the difficulty of hitting the ball.
* The cosmetic industry creates a red ocean with models, expensive advertising, and promises of youth and beauty.
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584 of 629 people found the following review helpful By B. Gilad on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is mostly "fluff". Its basic argument is that companies who find themselves in hotly contested markets ("red oceans") should look for uncontested markets ("blue oceans"). They should do it in such a way as to ensure revenues (so go for mass), and profit (so watch the cost). Wow. I guess if the authors said: go for high-cost-small-markets, at least it will be original! The problem with this book is that it is a mishmash of old ideas, and its mortal sin is that it is trivial. It looks at successful products and service offerings, and in retrospect identifies the characteristics that made them succeed (at least revenue wise, there is no real financial analysis in this book). Naturally, finding those characteristics is the real issue, and it is the realm of entrepreneurial vision. Beyond some trivial labels placed on common sense planning activities, Blue Ocean does not help one iota in finding uncontested markets with large profit potential. Anyone who seriously tries to apply the ideas in the book will find they are either trivial or fluff.

The lack of originality is everywhere. Let's look closer: The book main point is that companies must do different things than competitors to be in uncontested markets. Fans of Michael Porter will immediately recognize this as the theme of his seminal 1996 article "What is Strategy" (go to [...] to buy this article). Interestingly enough, Kim and Mauborgne published their first work on value innovation in...yes, 1997. Porter identified three bases for successful strategies: need-based, variety-based, and access-based. Unlike the authors of Blue Ocean, he did not pretend to have an a priori formula for finding success. All he did was to show what makes a superior strategy, and why superior strategies are sustainable over a long period of time.
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145 of 161 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an especially thought-provoking book which, as have so many others, evolved from an article published in the Harvard Business Review. According to Kim and Mauborgne, "[in italics] Blue ocean strategy [end italics] challenges companies to break out of the red ocean of bloody competition by creating uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant...This book not only challenges companies but also shows them how to achieve this. We first introduce a set of analytical tools and frameworks that show you how to systematically act on this challenge, and, second, we elaborate the principles that define and separate blue ocean strategy from competition-based strategic thought." There are six principles which are introduced and then discussed on pages 49, 82, 102, 117, 143, and 172, respectively.

Frankly, I was somewhat skeptical that this book could deliver on the promises made in its subtitle. In fact, the material provided by Kim and Mauborgne is essentially worthless unless and until decision-makers in a given organization accept the challenge, are guided and informed by the six principles, and effectively use the tools within appropriate frameworks. The responsibility is theirs, not Kim and Mauborgne's. To assist their efforts, Kim and Mauborgne focus on several exemplary companies which have dominated (if not rendered irrelevant) their competition by penetrating previously neglected market space. They include the Body Shop, Callaway Golf, Cirque du Soleil, Dell, NetJets, the SONY Walkman, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, the Swatch watch, and Yellow Tail wine.

Of greatest interest to me is Kim and Mauborgne's assertion that the innovations which enabled these companies to succeed with a Blue Ocean strategy did NOT depend upon a new technology.
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