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

by W. Chan Kim

Hardcover, 2005




Harvard Business Review Press, (2005)


In a book that challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, Kim and 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 a hundred years and 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.--From publisher description.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member shawnd
A little unrealistic from my perspective. This is in the top echelon of business books, no doubt. However, I thought it was a little idealistic in its portrayal that any business can seek and find a blue ocean strategy, that the concept is original, and somewhat trivializes switching out revenue. I thought the concept of competing against substitutes using a new business model was a recast of Michael Porter, with a dash of the Innovator's Solution by Christensen. It seemed to not be written by CEO's but more like consultants or theoreticians who'd found a trend or phenomenon, rather than how -- if you own or run an existing business - can you rip it toward Blue Ocean. This will be a great book if you like Jim Collins or Christensen or generally business books, but moreso if you are aspiring rather than existing CEO.… (more)
LibraryThing member brett_in_nyc
While not terribly robust academically, it illustrates a great framework for thinking about innovation and change in business. This is the best read on that subject that I've seen that really shows what I know to be true in practice. Really explains how to use something old like the Michael Porter structural analysis of industries for inventive creative solutions to transform boring dumb industries.… (more)
LibraryThing member ndrewtan
This book for me basically had three parts. The first part on the concept of the strat canvas which I felt was the most useful. This was followed by a second part on the ways to find blue ocean markets - not as useful but still useful. The third part was more of the same - stuff about getting buy in and strategic alignment. I guess it was included for comprehensive-ness of the book?… (more)
LibraryThing member dvf1976
Starts out criticizing "Built To Last" by saying that companies are not the proper "atom" to evaluate... H-P did well, but didn't even keep up with its market.

The proper "atom" to evaluate is initiatives. Initiatives allow you to see how to really prosper.

I think I agree with the assessment that this book is more of a description of how things *could* be than a how-to manual, but even that's a useful service since it adds another type of story to the "Business Narrative"… (more)
LibraryThing member papskier
This is a fantastic book. There are a couple chapters that are weakened only by the continuing reliance on a single case study. Outside of that though, this book gets straight to the point and is very well written and easy to understand.
LibraryThing member ScentTrail
This book had me for the first part and lost me for the second. The first half of the book explains Blue Ocean Strategies. Go where your competitors aren't sounds impossible. It is not. And being reminded in such a compelling and forceful way was well worth the price of admission. The implementation guide is clearly created by smart academics. It is too ivory tower and not nearly enough throw the computer on the ground and figure it out. Way too complicated, these are Harvard guys after all (LOL). I walked away thinking no way you could go through the exercise without a consultant (which may be the point), but it doesn't matter as there is plenty of useful, actionable stuff in the first half.… (more)
LibraryThing member joelhalpin
This was a good book, but once you understand the concept of a blue ocean strategy, the rest of the book is repetative.
LibraryThing member pc_cambridge
This was an interesting overview of how disruptive strategies have helped drive success for companies like Dell, Southwest, etc. The strategy canvas framework was the most valuable part of the discussion, but as the author tried to turn a backward looking analysis of blue ocean strategies that worked into a forward looking strategy for creating your own blue ocean strategy, things became a little less useful.… (more)
LibraryThing member buildingabookshelf
Blue Ocean Strategy really opened my eyes to a new way of looking at strategy. Although each of the companies highlighted in the book were not new information for me, I had never thought about what they've accomplished in terms of a Blue Ocean Strategy. This book takes something that any business person knows intuitively and puts it into a concrete methodology that can be applied in your own business.

One such methodology is the Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create grid. Since reading that chapter, I've been applying the grid to nearly everything I've come across. It is a great way to have a fresh look at just about every aspect of your business. Look at your competition and identify what they are doing that can be completely eliminated without damaging your value to customers. For Southwest Airlines, it was seat assignment. Then look at what you can reduce that will set you apart. Again, for Southwest, it was meals. Now, although serving peanuts instead of a full meal is common-place today, when Southwest started doing it, it was a completely new idea. Next, look at what you can raise. What is your competition doing that you can do better, but that will also raise the value for your customers? For Southwest, it was the level of service. Southwest is known for their great customer service. Finally, what can you create that your competition isn't doing? Southwest created the short point-to-point departure system that made shorter trips more affordable for everyone.

There are a lot of other tools in this book that any business owner or corporate department manager can quickly apply and improve in their own business.
… (more)
LibraryThing member elliotc
Another very important framework for entrepreneurs to have in their toolbox. Helpful methodology to achieve differentiation for your new offering as an entrepreneur.
LibraryThing member cameling
Interesting and thought-provoking.
LibraryThing member mny_ldy
If you need a catalyst to move your business in a different direction, this book is an essential read.
LibraryThing member kushal.gupta
Although controversies surround this book for being descriptive instead of prescriptive, it provides some good frameworks to start brainstorming, lay a basic foundation & avoid the overlooking of obvious factors. Strategy formulation is very in depth offering some tools to compare & usage of charts encourage visual cues to break from competition by rethinking parameters.… (more)
LibraryThing member ennui2342
Should be required reading for all managers.Where traditional strategy approaches (such as the balanced scorecard) lay out an approach whereby performance can be improved for those that use it, this book describes an approach which really does get to the heart of why companies are successful even if they aren't consciously following this framework.This book also gives practical and powerful tools which can be used to develop strategy. The proof will be whether companies can use them as part of the planning process to create strategic moves, or that the idea will refuse to be more than a way to explain success that was driven more instinctively.If nothing else it helps understanding of what makes for the most successful strategies, and gives you a vocabulary that you can apply to your own organisation. Highly recommended.… (more)
LibraryThing member jwilker
I was gifted a hardcover copy, and purchased a Kindle edition, so I could gift the hard cover.
LibraryThing member kpickett
How do you take your company to the next level of success? Stop trying to compete in the traditional marketspace and branch out into uncharted waters. This book is a series of examples of companies like Cirque du Soleil that have used this model to great success. A little dry at times this doesn't seem to be the scientific study that I wish it was. Could use more evidence and research to back up the theory.… (more)


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