Blue ocean strategy gives little insight

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The Blue Ocean strategy is vastly quoted as an example of how to reframe business models in order to identify fertile markets. However, the book ([@kim2015Blue ocean strategy: how to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant]) gives very superficial examples that can be better studied with other frameworks, just as 202303251644 Jobs to be done framework.

For example, it uses Novo Nordisk approach with the insuline pen as an example of a company refocusing from "influencer"-led markets (doctors prescribing medicines) to consumer-led decision making.

Essentially, what the book describes is Novo Nordisk better undestanding who was executing the job (the patient had to self-inject insuline), and all the additional jobs around, including emotional ones such as overcoming the social stigma of injections.

The example of NABI building buses with a lower cost of ownership is of a supreme superficiality. The only argument here is that they looked at the overall cost of owning a bus, not just of buying one, and they out-competed the rest by having a more affordable alternative based on fiberglass (?)

The rest of the examples are very poorly explored, like the case of iTunes, or the barbershops in Japan. Understanding market inefficiencies and addressing them with the available technology (iTunes) or identifying a change in consumer culture (CB House) is hardly a radical insight.


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Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
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