Blue Ocean Strategy Book Summary - Blue Ocean Strategy Book explained in key points
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Blue Ocean Strategy summary

W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne

How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

4.2 (525 ratings)
8 mins

Brief summary

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne explains how businesses can break free from competition by creating new, untapped market spaces. The authors provide a systematic approach to creating value for customers while maximizing profit margins.

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    Blue Ocean Strategy
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    Escape your competition by setting sail to a blue ocean.

    When you establish a new business, competition can be brutal. Whether you’re selling wine, audio books, or life insurance, the market for a product can only get so big. So you’re left to fight with hundreds of other companies for your share of a limited demand. No surprise that America’s most popular business TV show is called Shark Tank! Markets today are like oceans, swarming with hungry companies ready to kill each other. There’s so much blood in the water, we can call these markets red oceans

    But every once in a while, a company emerges that seems to sail past all the competition. These are businesses that rise fast, grow uncontested, and seem to play by their own rules. What are they doing differently?

    Well, instead of fighting over scraps in red oceans, these businesses navigate uncharted territory: blue oceans. You can think of blue oceans as all the markets we haven’t yet discovered, for products and services that don’t yet exist. Demand isn’t limited because demand isn’t there – it has to be created. But this isn’t a handicap, it’s an opportunity. Because if the size of your market isn’t limited, neither are your growth and profits.

    In blue oceans, the water isn’t bloodied by cut-throat competition. It’s deep, clear, and full of undiscovered potential. The blue ocean strategy gives you the methodology and tools to conquer such uncontested markets. The basic tenet is this: It’s true that the space in a certain industry might be limited. But who’s to say that a business can’t create an entirely new industry?

    Let’s look at an example of this in action: famous Canadian circus company Cirque du Soleil. With its extraordinary variety shows, Cirque du Soleil has entertained millions of people worldwide. On top of that, it’s made record profits. Not something you would expect from a circus company! How did the company do it?

    Well, Cirque du Soleil did two interesting things. First, it got rid of the old circus staple of animal acts. Then, it supplemented its human acts with live music and compelling storylines. The first move reduced costs while the second introduced exciting new elements into the world of circus. In effect, Cirque du Soleil created a blue ocean: it carved out an entirely new market for artistic theater experiences. And people love it.

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    What is Blue Ocean Strategy about?

    Blue Ocean Strategy (2004) is a business classic that revolutionized the way companies think about market competition. It explains why some businesses can grow uncontested, while the rest tear each other to bits in a hypercompetitive environment.

    Blue Ocean Strategy Review

    Blue Ocean Strategy (2005) presents a groundbreaking approach to business strategy that helps organizations escape cutthroat competition and create uncontested market space. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical tools and frameworks to help businesses identify and tap into new market opportunities, enabling them to achieve sustainable growth.
    • Backed by extensive research and real-world examples, the book provides a clear roadmap for businesses to succeed by creating their own blue oceans.
    • With its fresh perspective and emphasis on innovation, the book challenges traditional thinking and inspires readers to think differently about business strategy.

    Who should read Blue Ocean Strategy?

    • entrepreneurs eager to get ahead of their competition
    • investors deciding which companies to back
    • business students who want to better understand market forces

    About the Author

    W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne are professors of strategy at INSEAD, an international business school with campuses in France, Abu Dhabi, and the US. Their business classic Blue Ocean Strategy sold over four million copies worldwide. In 2017, its follow-up Blue Ocean Shift became a New York Times best seller. In 2019, Kim and Mauborgne were named the number one management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50.

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    Blue Ocean Strategy FAQs 

    What is the main message of Blue Ocean Strategy?

    The main message of Blue Ocean Strategy is to create uncontested market spaces and make competition irrelevant.

    How long does it take to read Blue Ocean Strategy?

    The reading time for Blue Ocean Strategy varies. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Blue Ocean Strategy a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Blue Ocean Strategy is worth reading for its innovative approach to business strategy. It provides valuable insights for creating new opportunities.

    Who is the author of Blue Ocean Strategy?

    The authors of Blue Ocean Strategy are W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

    What to read after Blue Ocean Strategy?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Blue Ocean Strategy, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Good to Great by Jim Collins
    • Blue Ocean Shift by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
    • Built to Last by Jim Collins
    • The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
    • Sun Tzu and the Art of Business by Mark R. McNeilly
    • Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara
    • Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
    • Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins
    • On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis
    • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz