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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.
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Blue ocean strategy is about creating an organizational strategy that is not based on the competition but based on finding a new market. The book consists of three parts: 1) Overview, 2) Formulating a strategy, 3) Executing the strategy.
The first part defines Blue Ocean strategies and gives several examples of where companies have created a blue ocean. It also introduces several tools that are useful for analyzing markets and that might enable finding a blue ocean (which they call unlock a blue ocean).
The second part talks about how to formulate blue ocean strategies. It shows how to the the strategy canvas for mapping out the current markets and how to break out of these by eliminating or enhancing factors of the product. Also it covers how to look beyond customers and find out how to create new customers by delivering additional value (which is what they name value innovation).
The last part covers the execution of a strategy (which was the part I liked least). The authors realize that a strategy without execution won't be too beneficial, but realize there are certain common obstacles for executing a blue ocean strategy, especially related to the organization. They give examples of how you can overcome these hurdles.
The book was ok written. I felt it was a bit dry at times. The case studies were pretty good, but they were all retrospectively. That is also what bothered me most about the book, which is the authors have analyzed many cases and then created a process about how such a strategy could have been created. But in most cases, I guess, the tools from this book were probably not used as the road from strategy to execution doesn't go in the nicely defined steps the authors describe (at least, not in my experience). This caused a feeling that the book was too theoretical. It isn't a bad book but it was definitively not a 'yeah' book either. I wouldn't quickly recommend it except for people intensely interested in strategy. So, just three stars.
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.
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
But this book makes one good point. Don't beat the competition at their own game. Make a new game..Read more