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Blue Ocean Strategy

Welcome to my Blue Ocean Strategy summary!

One-Sentence-Summary: How to differentiate yourself from direct competition and indirect alternatives by aligning the value, people, and profit strategy propositions.

blue ocean strategy summary book review

“..[do] not assume that just because the competition is doing something means it is connected to buyer value.” (p. 10)

booboo real-time book rating: ★★★☆☆ (percentage of books with this rating: 24%)

Blue Ocean Strategy Summary – Intro

blue ocean strategy summary and review achieving strategy alignment

I couldn’t help but wonder throughout this book, which examines events and strategies of the past, whether this book has it right. Or, is hindsight 20/20? In other words, was a credible-sounding story that sounds like it formulated the success of the particular company formed, or are there so many factors at play that measuring the reasons for success is actually impossible?

“..the more they focus on coping with the competition, and striving to match hand beat their advantages, the more they ironically tend to look like the competition.” (p. 10)

You are reading my summary and review of the book Blue Ocean Strategy.

Did you know I’m an author? I wrote four books on real estate investing, travel, and language learning.

The book shoots itself in the foot within the first pages by highlighting In Search of Excellence and Built to Last, two famous business books, only to say they turned out to be inaccurate because many of the exampled companies started to struggle. So, what’s to say Blue Ocean Strategy is not the same? After all, it’s a book doing the same thing and that is trying to identify trends and patterns for success.

Jake Tran and Blue Ocean Strategy

I purchased this book after hearing about it from James Tran, a popular YouTuber who read it early in his career and credits it with some of his success in the competitive YouTube space (something I’m struggling with myself).

At first, I was excited to read this, and then not soon after, I saw some rather unsettling news about this YouTuber, which ruined a lot of credibility I had for him and, relatedly, his recommendations. It became apparent after learning this news that this book may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Its popularity may be based on this single recommendation by Mr. Tran, who read this book as a young adult early in his career, which means the recommendation holds less weight because the recommender had no experience.

It’s like your first true love. Is she that amazing and perfect? Probably not, but it’s a new and wonderful feeling. To be fair, it’s too early to tell, but these are my initial reactions. I also was not encouraged by reading about the authors, the first thing I did. This is located at the very end of the book, maybe on purpose. The author is a professor. The book is about how to be a millionaire, basically. That’s not compatible with me. I would have preferred if an entrepreneur was the author. The book may be more academic than real world.

Jake Tran is money-motivated. He’s always wanted to be rich, and will do anything to get there. He read this book to help on his journey which was “how can I make a lot of money, as fast as possible, and in any way?” While his YouTube channel is popular, he started out with great videos, but then quickly (as soon as he could) transitioned to lower-quality videos and very questionable sponsors (who he masquerades as experts in a particular field).

But enough about him and enough of the negativity. Here’s a valuable quote form the Blue Ocean Strategy: “Untapped value is often hidden in the complementary products and services. The key is to define the total solution buyers seek when they choose a product or service. A simple way to do so is to think about what happens before, during, and after your product is used.” (p. 100)

Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas

The following chart, located on page 85, visually depicts something any business owner should be thinking about, and it’s a hard question: How to differentiate yourself?

NetJets allows fractional ownership of private jets to reduce travel time and increase comfort.

blue ocean strategy review

Here’s another strategy canvas of Curves, the women-only gym. The other two curves are of traditional gyms and home gyms.

I like the concept of looking to complementary services to find what things are affecting sales of your product/service. The author gives a good example of movie theatres where the ease of getting a babysitter is also a consideration when a couple wants to go to the movies, so this could be a service a theatre offers if a larger portion of their customers were parents with young children.

Blue Ocean Strategy Product Pricing

“..a company does not want to rely solely on price to create demand.” (p. 161) No B.S. Pricing Strategy by Dan Kennedy is an entire book on this quote. Similarily, “you should not let costs drive prices.” (p. 162)

Be sure to check out my digital bookshelf for 100+ book summaries.

New Words From Blue Ocean Strategy

  • Esoteric – intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
  • Enological – relating to wine and winemaking
  • Motif – a decorative design or pattern
  • Haute Couture – refers to the creation of exclusive fashions
  • Phlegmatic – (of a person) having an unemotional and stolidly calm disposition
  • Winos – a person who drinks excessive amounts of cheap wine or other alcohol, especially one who is homeless
  • Consigliere – an adviser to an important or high-ranking person (typically referring to the Mafia)
  • Myopically – without seeing the consequences of a decision or action, or without thinking about anything outside of one’s own situation

Thanks for visiting and thanks to W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne for writing Blue Ocean Strategy!

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