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Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant [Hardcover]

W. Chan Kim , Renee Mauborgne
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2005
The global phenomenon, embraced by business worldwide and now published in more than 40 languages.

This international bestseller challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success.

Since the dawn of the industrial age, companies have engaged in head-to-head competition in search of sustained, profitable growth. They have fought for competitive advantage, battled over market share, and struggled for differentiation. Yet, as this influential and immensely popular book shows, these hallmarks of competitive strategy are not the way to create profitable growth in the future.

In the international bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne argue that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves (spanning more than 100 years across 30 industries), the authors argue that lasting success comes not from battling competitors, but from creating "blue oceans"—untapped new market spaces ripe for growth. Such strategic moves, which the authors call “value innovation,” create powerful leaps in value that often render rivals obsolete for more than a decade.

Blue Ocean Strategy presents a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant and outlines principles and tools any company can use to create and capture their own blue oceans. A landmark work that upends traditional thinking about strategy, this bestselling business book charts a bold new path to winning the future.

Published by Harvard Business Review Press.

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Product Description

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.


“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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A ONE TIME ACCORDION PLAYER, stilt-walker, and fire-eater, Guy Laliberte is now CEO of Cirque du Soleil, one of Canada's largest cultural exports. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
The authors looked at the business launches of 108 companies, and found that those which emphasized serving competitively uncontested customer needs were only 14 percent of the cases. Yet those "blue ocean" launches accounted for 61 percent of the total profits (or almost 10 times as many profits on average per launch as those who went after "red oceans," where competitive space is already served).

Rather than examining the processes that companies used to create these wins, the authors investigated the common strategic elements of the "blue ocean" cases they found, and developed a strategic planning process designed to focus on those elements. In the last 15 years, they have experimented with that process with a number of consulting clients and now report the results of their latest refined process.

They propose four principles formulate a strategy:

1. Reconstruct market boundaries

2. Focus on the big picture, not the numbers

3. Reach beyond existing demand

4. Get the strategic sequence right.

They also propose two principles to implement strategy:

5. Overcome key organizational hurdles

6. Build execution into strategy.

For applying each of the strategic principles, the authors describe different paths and steps, and provide simple, analytical tools designed to be applied in a back-of-the-envelope analysis.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Adrift Dec 18 2011
By Ian Robertson TOP 100 REVIEWER
Logical, clearly written (though buzz words abound), and engaging, it's no wonder Blue Ocean Strategy was such a bestseller. Because they inevitably focus on innovative products or services (the authors use the term 'value innovation') that seemingly appear out of the blue to take a market by storm or to create a new market altogether, Blue Ocean Strategies (BOS) make the most compelling of stories. Unfortunately, the theory is weak for two reasons: the examples given, while interesting, are largely exercises in data-mining; and second, BOSs can only apply to a very, very small percentage of the market place, or else there would be no mainstream or conventional business in the first place.

Early in the book the authors talk about the certainty of the Euro's development as a currency: "... the euro has been evolving along a constant trajectory as it has been replacing Europe's multiple currencies. It is a decisive, irreversible, and clearly developing trend in financial services upon which blue oceans can be created as the European Union continues to enlarge." Current events have proved the authors dead wrong, and I cite the passage not to be nit-picky, but rather to illustrate the unscientific nature of the methodology. Examples are drawn selectively to prove a thesis. They appear to provide insight and are enjoyable to read - in fact may actually spur some of us to the desired results - but the book has little chance of a lasting impact on organizational behaviour or the academic body of knowledge.

In another example, the authors cite a purported mistake by genetically modified food maker Monsanto, in which they claim that had Monsanto educated environmental groups of the benefit of genetically modified foods, their company would have been hailed as heroes rather than pariahs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue Ocean Strategy Feb. 5 2007
A must read for any leader, January 1, 2007

I recently read, "Blue Ocean Strategy " How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant" by Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. The title really tells it all. The book talks about creating uncontested market space on the theory that contested market space is very difficult to make money on. It is now one of my favourite books.

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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Very interesting concept; one of the best and most serious book I've read on strategy lately
Published 6 days ago by Yvan Guay
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read.
I found this book to be very insightful. A definite book to read if to when working on a new project or product line.
Published 7 months ago by Oakville, ON
5.0 out of 5 stars got it promptly
Got the item promptly. Gave it as a gift. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Thank you for the great product at a great price.
Published 7 months ago by Daniel Abramov
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent narrative
The detractors of this well know work say that it copies ideas from existing strategy.

Maybe in part, it does but the narrative of BOS is compelling and does inspire... Read more
Published 14 months ago by dan hathway
2.0 out of 5 stars A book based on a simplistic idea
This is a well written book however based on a simple idea. The idea being "you should base your business what the customer is willing to pay for". Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2009 by M. Rizvi
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-Down Strategic Planning for Business Model Innovation
The authors looked at the business launches of 108 companies, and found that those which emphasized serving competitively uncontested customer needs were only 14 percent of the... Read more
Published on Dec 6 2008 by Donald Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful business strategy thinking guide
You will read the first few pages and quickly reach the same conclusion as the authors. A blue ocean strategy makes a lot of sense. Read more
Published on June 18 2008 by Pierre Lapointe
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