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Book Review: Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne is not the breeziest read but it has some very interesting points for business owners.  Even if you don’t have your own business, Blue Ocean Strategy’s creative recommendations are useful to stretch and challenge your current thinking.

Rather than fighting your competitors (i.e., the red ocean strategy because it’s a bloody battle) can you make your competition irrelevant (i.e., the blue ocean strategy where you swim alone)?

What parts of the business can you reduce or eliminate?  Can you sell to different customers? What can you create that is new?

These are just some of the many challenging questions that Kim and Mauborgne raise.  They also provide many interesting examples from Cirque du Soleil to [yellow tail] wines to the NYPD turnaround under Bill Bratton’s leadership.

There is a lot of juicy material in this book.  My one quibble is that it’s not the most accessible read.  There is a lot of information, lots of theory, lots of graphs.  I read a lot of business books, and I had a hard time keeping track of everything — sometimes I felt there was too much and I would have liked to cover few topics but more in-depth.  Still, if Blue Ocean Strategy can cause you to question just one part of your business (or your life) then it is a worthwhile read.


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