Blue Ocean Strategy (2005)

BOS Blue Ocean Strategy: How to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant (2005) is a book about business strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, professors at INSEAD, France. The book describes the idea of Blue Ocean Strategy or BOS, which allows companies to create long-term competitive advantage by exploiting a new market space. The fundamental theses of the book is that (1) managers should strive to play ina competitive space where there is no competition, and (2) it is better to make competitors irrelevant and not have to engage in direct competition. It provides examples from such unconventional companies as Cirque de Soleil, Casella Wines, Southwest Airlines, NetJets and Curves.

The book is a best-seller, so it needs to be on the reading list of any business student. It provides a different way of thinking than what is typically taught about business strategy (e.g. Porter’s 5 Forces model), and so helps think of competition and competitive advantage differently. Also, because so many people have read it, it has become one of those must-read books for anyone who wants to learn more about strategic business thinking.

I recommend the book for the serious reader. I also note that the book is not engaging in parts, and seems to drift. For those of you who can ignore its limitations, the book will certainly help you think about business in a somewhat different way.

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