A good book keeps me engaged. A great book inspires me. Blue Ocean Strategy is a great book. The business strategies presented by this book are powerful, insightful, and actionable. Blue Ocean Strategy tells you how to forge lucrative new market space and turn competition into a thing of the past.
W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne studied 150 strategic business actions over the course of an entire century and over thirty different industries. What made the leaders succesful? Were these companies just innovating within their market space? Were they crushing their competition with advertising mega-budgets?
Not exactly. What they discovered was a clear pattern of innovation shared among an overwhelming number of successful businesses. These companies aren’t fighting the same bloody war in a crowded ocean of competition; they are creating new market space through innovation. This is the essence of blue ocean strategy: stop fighting over “red oceans” mired with competition, and create something that will create new “blue oceans” of wide-open market space.
Like most of the exciting business strategies and philosophies we encounter, it always seems to sound better on paper. Fortunately Kim and Mauborgne have written Blue Ocean Strategy as an actionable strategy guide – not just a bunch of theories and data. After introducing us to the key concepts of blue ocean strategy, the book digs right in and provides a plan for finding, developing and deploying new blue oceans.
A great companion book to Blue Ocean Strategy is Seth Godin’s Unleashing the Ideavirus, which discusses the importance of creating fresh market space and ideas that get customers excited. A blue ocean is in many ways an ideavirus.
Poor implementation of new ideas can muck up even the greatest of plans, especially when there are stakeholders with long-held ideas about what is right involved. Fortunately the final section of the book addresses organizational and management hurdles, and gives a nice jumpstart for dealing with the roadblocks that innovation always encounters.
I like that this book focuses on results instead of theory. The theory is superb, but it also gives us a clear plan for make blue ocean streategy a reality with our own business operations immediately.