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Blue ocean thinking

We can now expand on Steve Jobs’ idea of a ‘ding in the universe’ to a more detailed analysis showing how entrepreneurs and companies think about expansion.

Read Kim and Mauborgne’s short introduction to Blue Oceans, taken from their marketing theory, Blue Ocean Strategy.

‘… but once corporations realise that the strategy for creating and capturing blue oceans have a different underlying logic … they will be able to create more blue oceans in the future’ (Kim and Mauborgne 2004: 79)

There is a parallel from over 500 years ago, where Christopher Columbus knew that in order to explore he was going to have to take some risks:

‘One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.’

Your task

You can see how the authors use the metaphor of the wide open spaces available in ‘blue oceans’ to allow for new ideas, new business and new concepts to be tested and possibly flourish. Blue ocean by its very name suggests unbounded exploration and vision.

Can you think of any businesses that could be described as ‘blue ocean’ ventures?

Do you think this ‘blue ocean’ thinking correctly captures the entrepreneurial spirit?


Kim, W. C., and Mauborgne, R. (2004) ‘Blue Ocean Strategy: Executive Summary’ Harvard Business Review

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This article is from the free online course:

Business Model Thinking

Coventry University