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156 W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne: Blue Ocean Strategy

The book proposes a strategy for businesses to create new, uncontested markets by exploring uncharted waters, rather than fighting for market share in existing, competitive markets.

W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne: Blue Ocean Strategy


Blue Ocean Strategy provides a systematic framework for businesses to identify and capture new, uncontested markets by focusing on creating value for customers, rather than competing with existing players in overcrowded markets. The authors introduce the concept of "blue oceans" - untapped market spaces with high potential for growth and profitability - and contrast it with the "red oceans" of crowded, competitive markets. Through a series of case studies and real-world examples, the book provides practical guidance and tools for businesses to develop and execute blue ocean strategies, including the formulation of a clear and compelling value proposition, the identification of customer pain points, and the creation of innovative products and services.


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

Author: W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne

Publishing Year: 2020

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Length in hours: 8 hours and 43 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Blue Ocean Strategy involves creating new market space by exploring uncharted waters, rather than competing with existing players in overcrowded markets.
  2. Blue Ocean Strategy is based on the principle of creating value for customers, rather than simply capturing market share or competing on price.
  3. Blue Ocean Strategy requires a systematic approach that includes identifying customer pain points, formulating a clear value proposition, and developing innovative products and services.
  4. Blue Ocean Strategy is not just for startups or new businesses, but can be applied by established companies seeking to innovate and grow.
  5. Blue Ocean Strategy is a powerful tool for businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors and achieve sustainable growth and profitability.
W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne: Blue Ocean Strategy

5 funny quotes

  1. "If you want to swim with the sharks, you'd better be a dolphin."
  2. "Don't just follow the beaten path - carve out your own path and make your own waves."
  3. "In business, you don't want to be a me-too - you want to be a hey-look-at-me!"
  4. "If you're not making waves, you're not moving forward."
  5. "Life's too short to swim in the same pond as everyone else."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition."
  2. "Value innovation is the cornerstone of blue ocean strategy. We call it value innovation because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space."
  3. "A company should never outsource its core competency."
  4. "To make a great leap forward, you must first push boundaries and challenge conventions."
  5. "When you compete in overcrowded industries, you're fighting for a shrinking profit pool. It's not the place to be. Instead, you should create blue oceans of uncontested market space."

5 dilemmas

  1. How can businesses identify blue ocean opportunities and avoid investing in red oceans with limited growth potential?
  2. How can businesses balance the need for innovation with the need for operational efficiency and financial sustainability?
  3. How can businesses successfully execute a blue ocean strategy and maintain their competitive advantage over time?
  4. How can businesses protect their intellectual property and prevent imitators from entering the market space they have created?
  5. How can businesses effectively communicate the value of their blue ocean offerings to potential customers and differentiate themselves from competitors?

5 examples

  1. Cirque du Soleil - the Canadian circus company created a new market space by combining elements of circus arts and theater, appealing to a broader and more upscale audience.
  2. Southwest Airlines - the low-cost carrier disrupted the airline industry by focusing on a different business model that emphasized low prices, fast turnaround times, and customer service.
  3. Yellow Tail - the Australian wine brand created a new market space by targeting a younger and less formal audience, using bold and colorful packaging and catchy slogans.
  4. Nespresso - the coffee maker company created a new market space by offering a high-quality coffee experience at home, using a proprietary system of pods and machines.
  5. Apple - the tech giant transformed the music industry with the introduction of the iPod and iTunes, creating a new market space for digital music downloads.

Referenced books

  1. "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail" by Clayton M. Christensen
  2. "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins
  3. "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras
  4. "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu
  5. "Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors" by Michael E. Porter

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"Life's too short to swim in the same pond as everyone else."

W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne: Blue Ocean Strategy
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