Book review: Blue Ocean Strategy

After a while i’d like to come back with a book review following the last one The E-Myth Revisited; this time i want to suggest another milestone for anybody that want to develop his own start-up business: Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The authors are two professors at INSEAD Business School and considered two of the most important influencers in business strategy.

blue-ocean

The main theory they present in the book is that, to survive the market challenges, is better for a business to discover new competitor-free blue oceans rather then fight in the shark-infested (blood) red oceans. Again a obvious concept but very rarely pointed out by anybody… the power of simplicity!

The book shows how to systematically search for blue oceans or never discovered before markets, plenty of new opportunities and new products and services to sell. It gives tools and analytics frameworks to create new blue oceans and develop a strategy for winning in such new marketplaces without competition with others.

From sketching the strategic chart of the business sector to carrying out a blue ocean strategy the authors lead the reader to think out of the box in a very effective way, bringing also many cases of study from very different sectors and times.

I suggest reading this book before you start your venture so you can directly dive into a blue ocean!

Blue Ocean strategy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Ocean-Strategy-Uncontested-Competition/dp/1591396190/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474967574&sr=1-2&keywords=blue+ocean+strategy

W. Chan Kim wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Chan_Kim

R. Mauborgne wiki (German): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renée_Mauborgne

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The university dilemma

The QS World University Rankings 2016-17 has just been released. Top rankings have no surprises with USA and Europe leading the top ten with 5 universities for each side.

First three places are for the well-known “sisters” MIT, Stanford and Harvard while the first European is Cambridge in 4th; to complete the other positions Caltech, Oxford, Univesity College of London, ETH of Zurich, The Imperial College and Chicago University.

mit

Rest-of-the-world universities are lead by Singapore with NUS and NTU at 12th and 13th respectively and mainly China with several institutes in the top 30.

Criteria used for drafting the rankings include several indicators such as academic and employees reputation, citations and international students.

There is thus a wide number of top class colleges and universities to choose among especially if you’re looking for a technical or economics major, but the real question should be: does it worth the hassle? Does investing tens of thousand euros (or dollars, or pounds if you prefer) in high level formation is better than investing in your startup? And last but not least, are universities still the innovation centers that used to be for centuries?

Looking at the (in)famous dropouts list drafted by the College Dropouts Hall of Fame may be not anymore, at least if you’re planning to be the next world-changing entrepreneur. Reading the list in fact, beside well known dropouts such as Steve Jobs,  Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Richard Branson, we can find among other hundreds, people such as Stanley Kubrick, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray, Stefi Graff and Boris Becker.

steve2

Dropouts occasionally speak at graduations too

The web site propose also a half-serious good lists of reasons both to attend and not to attend college that worth a read. At least to make a half-serious reflection on what you really want from your future life.

London is the new European Start up Capital

Despite Brexit and related roller coaster of economic and monetary factors, the first six months of 2016 have stated the overtake of London vs Berlin as capital of start up in Europe.

According to the German EY’s startup barometer report in fact, investments in Berlin have dramatically fallen to 520m€ in the first semester of this year, sinking the whole Germany to a 957m€  amount that is the half compared to the same period of 2015.

Infographic: London Usurps Berlin As Startup Capital Of Europe | StatistaYou will find more statistics at Statista

This tumble, with the contemporary rise of London and Stockholm, has taken Berlin out of the podium as also Paris has  bring investment into startups to a bright 673m€ level.

The amount of 1,32om€ for London is also remarkable considering the fall of 12% in fintech investments and funding on the same period in the city.

The next year would probably bring more clarity due to the mitigation of Brexit effects but London will any case play a main role in the startup funding and development sector.

EY website: www.ey.com