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Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant Hardcover – February 3, 2005
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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.
Top customer reviews
The sign of a good book is one in which stands up to the test of time. I read this book and it felt like it could have been written yesterday. I got halfway through and decided to check the publication date. I was shocked to find out how many years ago it was written. The only thing that gives away its age are the examples it uses. However, I think that adds to the value because we all know what eventually happened with those companies and in many cases they failed because they got away from the principles in this book.
There is no such thing as riskless strategy. Strategy always has to involve both opportunity and risk but the present playing field is dramatically unbalanced in favour of tools and analytical frameworks exceeded in existing businesses. As long as this remains true, existing businesses will continue to dominate companiesâ(tm) strategic agenda even if it is a business imperative for creating new initiatives and takes on a new urgency.
One thing that I like about the book is that it uses multiple examples of companies who have revolutionized the industry that they are in by creating brand new markets and brand new spaces. For example, they talk about the automobile business moving from the Model T to General Motors, to small fuel efficient Japanese cars to the Chrysler mini-van, etc.
One of the most interesting stories was about the Japanese hair cut that used to cost $40 to $50 and included everything from a shoulder and scalp massage to shampoo, etc., but generally took an hour and subjected the customers to long waits. When a chain of barber shops went into Japan offering no appointments and traditional haircutting like we are accustomed to in North America, the chain thrived in a big way.
This example explains part of what the book proposes. The key is to look at what is really being offered and look at what parts you can dramatically improve. Often you can end up with lower costs while at the same time adding more value to the customer. In the case of the barbershop, they were able to reduce the cost by not having to spend as long on each customer, not serving tea, etc. While at the same time, reducing the customers waiting time which is an important commodity. The customers were not valuing the extras as much as they were valuing having their hair cut.
In the book you will see good examples and bad examples. There is a good one almost after dozens of bad ones. Why ? Goldratt says the key is SIGNIFICANT need. Poor examples have solved a need of a customer which is important in their eyes, not customer's. So the result is not attractive.
Another point is the strenth of the solution, if it is easy to imitate (eg. lowering price) surely competitors will follow you very soon. If your solution covers a paradigm shift then you will probably have a minimum of ten years to prosper without disturbing competition.
There are ways of implementation presented in the book which are really guiding.
I definitely suggest to read for every desicion maker in any "wishing to grow" organization. Moreover I believe this is a must read for any new entreprenaur.
Most recent customer reviews
good information for those thinking like entrepreneurs.