Review of Blue Ocean Strategy

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getAbstract International Book Award Winner 2005

9 Overall

10 Applicability

10 Innovation

8 Style


This best-selling business breakthrough by INSEAD strategy and international management professor W. Chan Kim and INSEAD distinguished fellow and World Economic Forum fellow Reneé Mauborgne provides an organized framework for identifying and implementing out-of-the-box “blue ocean strategies” for all industries. The book dates to 2005 (latest edition 2015), but the fresh research Kim and Mauborgne provide about the impact of innovative ideas on old industries continues to resonate. Their compelling business examples will inspire you. Their appendices contain further useful case histories on the evolution of the Model T car, the personal computer and the modern multiplex movie theater. The authors provide clear, implementable rules and principles, albeit somewhat academically drafted. getAbstract recommends their innovative approach to strategists or entrepreneurs seeking to move out of the competitive waters of the “red ocean” and into the relative tranquility of the open blue ocean.

About the Authors

INSEAD strategy and international management professor W. Chan Kim previously taught at the University of Michigan Business School. An adviser to international corporations, he has written for the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. INSEAD distinguished fellow and World Economic Forum fellow Reneé Mauborgne teaches and publishes on strategy and management.


Professorial Prose

Kim and Mauborgne describe a typical strategic approach as “a smorgasbord of tactics” that appear viable, one by one, but “collectively don’t add up to a clear unified direction that sets a company apart.” They advise drawing a “strategy canvas” that assures that everyone involved can see and understand what your company’s strategy will involve.

The authors are professors and analysts first and writers second. Their prose is basic and straightforward with little rhythmic variation or literary flair, but dedicated readers of business texts will find their style remarkably articulate and easy to follow. They use language to get ideas across, not to entertain or even engage. Yet they convey considerable intelligence and downright joy when parsing business strategies. As the size of their audience shows, the professors offer a rare mix of insightful business analysis and astute, practical strategy. Most business authors are lucky if they can offer one or the other. Very few combine both with such precision and utility. Those less versed in following strategic narratives may have to make some effort to focus, but they can ingest Kim and Mauborgne’s ideas in segments and take a few breaks. While the authors salt their principles for intrepid strategists with their theory’s jargon, managers easily can navigate right to the important strategic counsel. The potential positive effects of following this advice make the effort of reading every single word worthwhile.

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    Harpreet Singh MD 2 years ago
    Not impressed with the summarization. Book has lot to offer. Missed key points from the book.
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    Ronnie Rodelas 3 years ago
    Audio not working.
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    Jaya Srivastava 4 years ago
    Absolutely concise and to the point review - thank you
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    Cliff Albert 6 years ago
    I've read this summary on a number of occasions and believe its fundamental principles. To truly implement blue ocean requires full engagement across all departments. Best implemented by a leader of an organization down through the entire company. Difficult sometimes to implement within a specific division. The reason I say this is that there are not many organizations that have the patience for what this strategy requires. It's disappointing because blue Ocean strategy is where profits and brands are built.
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    Quinn Baker 6 years ago
    Loved the breakdown for the six principles
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    leonardo escobar 6 years ago
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    Rob Esquer 6 years ago
    I love it!
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    ADRIANA PEDREIRA 6 years ago
    Audio isnt working properly. Isnt going until the end. Is restarting from the middle.
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      Lilli Lindemann 6 years ago
      Dear Adriana,

      Thanks for your note. I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing problems listening to this audio. I'll send it to you via email right away. Hope this works for you. We’re already following up with our IT team to check what the problem may have been. I will certainly keep you posted.

      Best regards,
      Lilli Lindemann (English editorial)
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    Julie Smith 6 years ago
    If you like learning through case studies and examples then this is a great abstract for you. Blue ocean strategy is explored and explained through successful globally known brands from all sectors. Worth getting the full read.
  • Avatar
    Nitin Mahesh 6 years ago
    Audio is not working.
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      Nitin Mahesh 6 years ago
      And also not able to download it.
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      Deirdre Cody 6 years ago
      Dear Nitin,

      Many thanks for your note. I'm sorry you are experiencing difficulties. I checked the audio and PDF file, and they seem to be working, but I've sent an email to our IT team regarding your problem. In the meantime, I will send the files for this summary to your email address. Please let us know if you experience any other problems with our service.

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      Deirdre Cody (editor at getAbstract)
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    Jonathan Harmer 6 years ago
    Great summary - might have to get the book!
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    Patrick McDermott 6 years ago
    Audio doesn't work.....
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      Lilli Lindemann 6 years ago
      Dear Patrick,
      I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems downloading this audio from our website. I'll send it to you via email right away. Hope this works for you. Please let us know if you experience any such problems in the future. We're happy to help.
      All best,
      Lilli (English editorial)
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    Pat Brigger 7 years ago
    Whatever New Endeavour you start - make sure it's a blue ocean and not a red one. Good read!
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    Mathew MacDonell 7 years ago
    the concept has been introduced to me many times but this abstract provided a better framework for the 'blue ocean strategy.' It seems like a pretty obvious concept and the verbiage is cheesy at times.
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    BILL Krebs 8 years ago
    Great read!
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    Harry Babikian 8 years ago
    GREAT ONE !!