Why compete with ten companies in a small pond when you can be a single boat in the middle of the whole blue ocean? In this episode, Ken Courtright dives right into one of the greatest business books of all time, Blue Ocean Strategy. Simplifying what is deemed a complex read, Ken puts its ideas in context and shows why it helps to crack open a book and discover an outside-the-box thinking.
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I have considered doing a podcast called Think Blue. I’ve convinced myself that this topic would be too complicated, complex and this and that. I’m going to do it anyway. There is a book, and some of you may know it, called Blue Ocean Strategy. If not the greatest business book of all time, some people think it is way too complex of a read and should have been broken up into three different books. Here’s the bottom line. Blue Ocean Strategy as a book is based on the concept that, even in nowadays environment, companies can be created in which, at least for a period of time, there is no foreseeable competition. They create such a unique product. They create themselves a whole new industry. They do it in such a force that they have no competition. That’s not what the book is about.When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Click To Tweet
The book Blue Ocean Strategy sets out to show, through the companies that have created blue oceans, in the concept blue ocean means, why compete with ten companies in a small pond when you can be a single boat in the middle of the whole blue ocean and have the whole thing to yourself? That’s the key. The theme throughout the book is the book goes through countless case studies of what some of the greatest ideas that have come through business in the last hundred years have resulted in. I’ll give you a great example of why I think every person needs to get the audiobook or the full book of Blue Ocean Strategy. Have you ever heard of the term non-customer? You know what your customers are. They’re your customers. The people that aren’t your customers are your non-customer.
Let’s use an example right from the book Blue Ocean Strategy. There is a company out there called Callaway Golf. Callaway is about a 100-year-old company that has always been in the top three of the golf club manufacturers in the world. They’re a tremendous company. It wasn’t until in the ‘90s when they started looking at their non-customer that they exploded in sales. What they did is they had a meeting and said, “Let’s go out into the world and interview collectively our non-customers. Who are the people that unequivocally, no way, are going to go golfing?” They’re the bowlers, softball players, swimmers and joggers. They interviewed everybody they could find that had no desire whatsoever to hit a golf ball. They asked, “Why don’t you take up the sport golf?” Unequivocally, in different countries, people of all different ages and sex, the answer was, “It is way too difficult to swing a club where there’s this small clubhead. I’ve got to swing it three to four feet away from my body and hit this tiny little ball on a stick. That looks way too difficult.”
Callaway came back to their office and said, “Across the board, in different ages and different countries, what we hear unanimously is that the outsiders think it’s too difficult to swing a small club on a stick and hit a little bitty ball on a stick. Somebody in the meeting said, “What if we change that?” The senior advisors at Callaway said, “What do you mean?” He said, “What if we make the clubhead really big? What if we come up with something huge? What if we changed the golf club industry as we know it?” They came up with something called the Big Bertha. For those golfers that remember and I’m one of them, when the Big Bertha came out, it took the golf industry by storm. The Big Bertha was two to sometimes three and four times bigger than the average golf driver clubhead. Guess who is the number one golf club manufacturer in the world now? It’s Callaway.
Why not take the time and crack open what could possibly be the greatest business book, to provide the most outside-the-box possible thinking you will ever experience in your business lifetime jammed in one book, Blue Ocean Strategy? Why don’t you read it cover to cover and take a yellow highlighter? Highlight every idea that strikes you. Dog-ear those pages and see, “Can any of these ideas be implemented?” Pick it up a year or two later. Read it with an orange highlighter, a different color. Watch how you don’t even notice the stuff you highlighted in yellow the first time a year or two later because you and your company have grown. Now there are different parts of that book that are going to jump out at you like they’re coming off the page. You’re going to go, “I didn’t even notice those last time.” That’s because you and your company have grown and your business is ready for a different material. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. I dare you to read the book Blue Ocean Strategy.