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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Below is a review of a new book by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant.

I’ve got a question, when sharks come to your blue ocean, what then?

Do you find another ocean?

Or start building a Blue Ocean castle?

For other “Blue Ocean Strategy” posts in this series:

Blue Ocean Strategy: The one sentence overview.
The best sort of blue: The best of Blue Ocean Strategy.
When blue oceans turn purple: The low-end of Blue Ocean Strategy.
Blue ocean revival: New interest in Blue Ocean process and discipline.


I like your fragmented islands, very BEAUTIFUL. I did not get the castle, though.

How about operating out of several houseboats! Boats that are sophisticated, maneuverable, high speed, …… every thing nice you can imagine that can be done to a boat.

The little cabin on the island represents your first blue ocean strategy. Usually this will be some uncontested, open market.

But inevitably competition (sharks) will find you. What then?

Leave for new, undefended islands and keep moving outward? Or stay, dig in, and defend as is usually done in business?

These require two very different kinds of effort. While still enjoying the uncontested benefits of a new blue ocean strategy effort must be intentional and directed at your company’s next move.

Now houseboats … hadn’t thought of that in this metaphor. Reading what I’ve suggested above, what do you think building houseboats would imply?

I saw a strong defence in the castle metaphor, but I also saw immobility and lack of flexibility. In the end I saw a gargantuan stationary target, which may be very defensible now, might be not through time. May be a wrong perception!!!

What I saw in specially built houseboat is that you can “turn it on a dime”. Now it means the numbers of little cabins are no more stationary, thus being difficult targets. I think you should keep manoeuvring with-in, not moving outward.

Good. I don’t like the castle strategy either.

I like what your suggesting with the houseboat. One question though, what do you mean, move within rather than outward?

I meant manoeuvre within the blue ocean rather than heading or allowing yourself to be pushed outward; in response to your earlier question “Leave for new, undefended islands and keep moving outward?”

I thought that’s what you meant. I’m not sure that I agree.

For sure some maneuvering is essential. But eventually, and far sooner than most accept, moving on or out is necessary.

When many stay and build castles, I think there is opportunity for those that leave for new oceans. I’ve written about this in several places on this blog (here, here, here, here, here and here).

This even better, love all of them