Each Wednesday I offer a review on either a book or a product.
Last week I told you about Smart.ly, and said I would talk about the book I was introduce to through their interview process, Blue Ocean Strategy.
I’ll add an additional plug for Smart.ly by saying that they have a course on Blue Ocean Strategy that is worth checking out.
So, I graduated from business school in 2002, a lifetime ago for how quickly the business world changes and adapts. I learned all about marketing strategy; how to identify competitors and to a SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats). I was taught to find a company’s competitive advantage and strategies to improve the overall competitiveness in the marketplace.
In all of this it was assumed that everyone is competing on the same playing field; price, quality, customer service, speed of innovation; all of these features could be tweaked to improve a company and give it greater market share.
In researching for my interviews with Pedago (the company that owns Smart.ly), I came across this title that was referenced by the company CEO, Blue Ocean Strategy
Instead of continuing to function and compete on that same playing field, with those same differentiating factors that could only be manipulated and adjusted so much, authors Kim and Mauborgne contend that a business should create it’s own field, finding untapped market space where there is no current competition.
Leaving the red ocean where companies compete directly, leaving a bloody outcome, search for blue oceans, zones that do not have direct competitors. The focus is no longer on beating competitors but on value innovation.
This book explains this idea of blue oceans in detail, offering real life examples of companies that have found blue oceans. The authors offer helpful frameworks to help identify potential blue oceans, how to increase innovation, how to identify what factors would provide customers with exceptional value, and more.
If you are in business to any degree, whether running a start-up or sitting at a desk in an executive suite, I highly recommend this book.
I hope you’ve found this Wednesday Review helpful.