Blue Ocean Strategy for Business

The Debt Economy

Imagine a red ocean filled with blood and trash.   Now, mentally tag our current free market economy with that picture.  It played its part, but now we know that an economy based on debt and competition is not sustainable.

The authors of Blue Ocean Strategy suggest that entrepreneurs should swim in an uncontested market space (a blue ocean) where the competition is irrelevant instead of building your business for the shark-infested waters of the red ocean.

In a book that challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne contend that while most companies compete within such red oceans, this strategy is increasingly unlikely to create profitable growth in the future.”

If you get it, today is your lucky day.   After five years of research and development in the trenches of economic development, we have acquired some insight that can help you avoid the pitfalls of design for a failing debt-based economy.

8 Tips for Designing for Blue Oceans of Uncontested Market Space

  • Set the goal of Zero Waste.  Especially if you have a lot!   It creates jobs, increases efficiency, gives you a marketing edge and automatically places you in the “resource economy” (rather than the debt economy you are in).
  • Commit to Collaboration rather than Competition.  Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Try to avoid scarcity mentality and don’t rip the limbs off your only resources.
  • De-centralize as much as possible.  A good book about this is called “The Spider and the Starfish”.  Think of a circle rather than a pyramid.

  • Learn about and start to measure the triple bottom line:  People, Planet, Profit
  • Become a certified Benefit Corporation, a new kind of corporation that uses the power of business to do good for profit.  Go figure.

  • Learn to mimic nature.  Example:  Zero Waste
  • Adopt a cause, and hire an agency to put together a cause marketing plan with another corporation that shares your cause.
  • Ready, AIM, Fire!  Design a business plan.  In the marketing section, make sure you have:

-Uncontested market space

-A marketing edge

-A team who can implement and measure results

Setting the goal of Zero Waste does this for you, right off the bat.  You will not get there faster by skipping the basics. We have noticed many small business firing without aiming.   An example would be building a website without doing market research.

What other methods, strategies, or pointers do you have about business design for the new resource economy?


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