Blue Ocean Strategy: The Inspiration for Blue Ocean Families

My blue and red ocean visions were inspired by the concept of Blue Ocean Strategy for businesses. I watched a summary created by The Great Courses, and immediately thought of how it could apply to families.

 “Blue ocean strategy challenges companies to break out of the red ocean of bloody competition by creating uncontested market space that makes the competition irrelevant.”

I’m currently reading the book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant. Naturally, not everything about how a business is run can or should map to families, but I’ll talk more about the parallels and differences later. For now, I’ll share the four basic steps that lead to creating a blue ocean of market space called the Four Actions Framework.

Eliminate – Which of the factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated?

Reduce – Which factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard?

Raise – Which factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard?

Create – Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered?

An example might be the easiest way to grasp the basic concept. Cirque du Soleil left the bloody red ocean of the circus market and created its own vast and profitable blue ocean as follows:

Eliminate – star performers, animal shows, aisle concession sales, multiple show arenas

Reduce – fun and humor, thrill and danger

Raise – unique venue (vs. the three-ring circus)

Create – theme, refined environment, multiple productions, artistic music and dance

Eliminating animals was a particularly bold and brilliant stroke.   What’s a circus without animals? Clearly essential to the industry, yet expensive to keep and many potential customers have moral objections to keeping trained animals. It was an unthinkable thing to cut, but it worked!

Did you catch that? Success came from cutting what was deemed essential be everyone else.

I believe the same applies to families. It makes no sense to try to do everything. Can we have the strength to cut something others think is essential for the sake of building our own unique family culture?

3 thoughts on “Blue Ocean Strategy: The Inspiration for Blue Ocean Families”

    1. Yes, eliminating school is a good example of the more radical kind of cutting a family can do in order to gain a great deal of time for other things. At the same time, homeschooling takes up a great deal of time as well, it’s just of a different kind. We have to decide first what kind of time is most important for us to have. No two Blue Oceans are alike, almost by definition!

      Thanks for your comment!

  1. How about reducing time for watching TV. I’m planning to do it.
    But myself couldn’t leave TV especially football match.

    I plan to create new activities substitutes TV.

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