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“HELP! MY OCEAN IS TURNING RED” captures the sentiment echoed so
frequently by managers around the world. More and more people, whether
managers of companies, heads of nonprofits, or leaders of government,
find themselves up against an ocean of bloody competition and want to get
out. Maybe your business is seeing its margins shrink. Maybe competition
is getting more intense, driving commoditization of your offering and
rising costs. Maybe you know you are going to announce that salary
increases won’t be coming. That’s not a situation any one of us wants to
face. And yet that’s a situation that so many do face.
How can you address this challenge? The lessons, tools, and frameworks
of Blue Ocean Strategy will help you to meet this challenge, whatever
industry or economic sector you are in. It shows how you can get out of a
red ocean of bloody competition and into a blue ocean of uncontested
market space characterized by new demand and strong profitable growth.
When we wrote Blue Ocean Strategy, we used the metaphor of red and
blue oceans because red oceans seemed to capture the reality that
organizations increasingly face, while blue oceans captured the endless
possibility that organizations could create, as industry history has borne
out since its inception. Today, ten years later, more than 3.5 million copies
of the book have been sold. It has become a bestseller across five
continents. It has been translated into a record-breaking forty-three
languages. And the term “blue ocean” has entered the business vernacular.
Over four thousand articles and blog posts on blue ocean strategy have
come out, with new articles continuing to appear daily worldwide.
The stories they contain are fascinating. There are articles from small
business owners and individuals across the globe that discuss how the
book fundamentally changed their perspectives on life and took their
professional successes to all new levels. In other articles, executives speak
of how blue ocean strategy provided the insight to take their business out
of the red ocean and create all new demand. And yet other articles detail
how government leaders have applied blue ocean strategy to achieve high
impact at low cost with rapid execution in areas of social importance
ranging from enhancing the quality of rural and urban lives, to
strengthening internal and external securities, to breaking down
ministerial and regional silos.1
As we have reached out to organizations that have applied the ideas and
have worked with many directly since the publication of the original
edition of Blue Ocean Strategy, we have learned a lot by watching the
journey people have made with these ideas. Their most pressing questions
in executing their blue ocean strategies are: How do we align all of our
activities around our blue ocean strategy? What do we do when our blue
ocean has become red? How can we avoid the strong gravitational pulls of
“red ocean thinking”—we call them “red ocean traps”—even as we’re
pursuing a blue ocean strategy? These are the very questions that have
motivated this expanded edition. In this new preface, we first outline
what’s new here. We then briefly summarize the key points that define and
distinguish blue ocean strategy and address why we believe blue ocean
strategy is more needed and relevant than ever before.

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