Report: Don’t Compete with Rivals—Make Them Irrelevant!

Wharton Club members joined DC INSEAD Club
to learn about key elements of Blue Ocean Strategy:
How to Create Uncontested Market Space & Make the Competition Irrelevant

Featuring W. Chan Kim, INSEAD Prof & Co-Author of the Bestseller

Over 70 DC Wharton Club member, INSEAD members, and guests attended the program on 4/13 for INSEAD Professor Chan Kim's stimulating discussion of his business bestseller, Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. Professor Kim discussed key points, including the distinctions between profitable, mass market blue oceans and more competitive red oceans, six paths to achieving blue oceans, barriers to imitation of blue oceans, and the strategy canvas to guide you whether you are in business, government, or a nonprofit.

Examples he covered included market leaders such as:
--Starbucks, which added lifestyle enhancement elements to change the nature of the coffee consumption experience and revitalize what had been a dying industry
--Australia's [yellow tail] wine, which achieved the seemingly impossible feat of becoming the leading imported wine in America within 2 years of market entry by redefining the wine drinking experience from the traditional one of more sophisticated products from more refined tastes and special occasions to easy to choose and enjoy wine for everyday use
--Southwest Airlines: pricing aimed at the 80% of travelers who might otherwise drive, instead of the much smaller number who were going to fly anyway
--Apple's iPod, which has achieved a market leading position in the portable music (and now even picture viewing) market through easy to use, fun features and openness to many third parties' products, capitalizing on costly lessons learned from the closed architecture of the excellent quality but small market share Macintosh PCs

To learn more, you can go to Chan's site, You may then decide to follow the popular currents many attendees followed to a copy of this outstanding book, translated into 29 languages. You can choose to purchase your copy in English or any of the other 28 languages, for Chan's blue oceans are reaching the shores of thousands of savvy business and other leaders worldwide, even in landlocked nations.

Summary of the Book, from the authors’ website,

Companies have long engaged in head-to-head competition in search of sustained, profitable growth. They have fought for competitive advantage, battled over market share, and struggled for differentiation.

Yet in today’s overcrowded industries, competing head-on results in nothing but a bloody "red ocean" of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. In a book that challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne contend that while most companies compete within such red oceans, this strategy is increasingly unlikely to create profitable growth in the future.

Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than 100 years and 30 industries, Kim and Mauborgne argue that tomorrow’s leading companies will succeed not by battling competitors, but by creating "blue oceans" of uncontested market space ripe for growth . Such strategic moves—termed "value innovation"—create powerful leaps in value for both the firm and its buyers, rendering rivals obsolete and unleashing new demand.

BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY provides a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant. In this frame-changing book, Kim and Mauborgne present a proven analytical framework and the tools for successfully creating and capturing blue oceans.

Examining a wide range of strategic moves across a host of industries, BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY highlights the six principles that every company can use to successfully formulate and execute blue ocean strategies. The six principles show how to reconstruct market boundaries, focus on the big picture, reach beyond existing demand, get the strategic sequence right, overcome organizational hurdles, and build execution into strategy.

Upending traditional thinking about strategy, this landmark book charts a bold new path to winning the future.

Blue Ocean's Powerful Wave

Already a Wall Street Journal top 10 bestseller in its first month, Blue Ocean Strategy has been translated into 29 languages, an HBS Publishing record. These are some of the many accolades the book has already received:

"You will never again see your competition in quite the same light. A must-read…"
- Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd

"An extremely valuable book. It examines the experience of companies in areas as diverse as watches, wine, cement, computers, automobiles, and even the circus…"
- Nicolas G. Hayek, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Swatch Group

"Les têtes chercheuses du management" (i.e., the "heat-seeking heads of management")
- L’Expansion selects Kim and Mauborgne as the #1 business gurus of tomorrow

"I recommend BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY to any executive in the private or public sector.
--William J. Bratton, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, former NYC Police Commissioner

Professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

About the Authors
W. Chan Kim is the Boston Consulting Group Bruce D. Henderson Chair Professor of Strategy and International Management at INSEAD.

Renée Mauborgne
is the INSEAD Distinguished Fellow and Professor of Strategy and Management. She was born in the United States. Mauborgne is a fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Kim and Mauborgne co-founded the Value Innovation Network (VIN), a global community of practice on the Value Innovation family of concepts that they created. VIN embraces academics, consultants, executives, and government officers.

Kim and Mauborgne’s Harvard Business Review articles are worldwide bestsellers and have sold over 500,000 reprints. Two of their articles were selected as among the best classic articles ever published in HBR. They have co-authored articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and numerous journals.