Friday, January 30, 2009

I Like My Ocean Blue

I've been trying to get my hand on this book since last year but as a typical Malaysian, i m always occupied with other things that excluded 'book reading'. I just surfed the net and trying to cut out the pieces into something that i could easily understand within my 'time limit'. So, i googled and found this interview by Vivek Kaul from DNA ( with W Chan Kim, one of the authors of the book (Kim is a co-director of the Insead Blue Ocean Strategy Institute and The Boston Consulting Group Bruce D Henderson Chair Professor of Strategy and International Management at Insead, France, the world's second largest business school)

'Create blue oceans to make competition irrelevant'

Vivek Kaul
Monday, November 10, 2008

What is the blue ocean strategy?
Blue ocean strategy is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making competition irrelevant. In more specific terms blue ocean strategy is about a whole system alignment of the value proposition (utility minus price) by creating an offer that dramatically raises buyer utility at the right price for the mass of the market; profit proposition (price minus cost) by creating a leap in value for the company itself by making a tidy profit; and people proposition by overcoming key organisational hurdles and building execution into strategy formulation.

As for defining characteristics, a true blue ocean strategy must have three key components in order to implement and communicate your strategic move: the strategy must be focused, diverge from the competition's strategic profile, and have a compelling tagline that speaks to the market.

For example, Southwest Airlines created a blue ocean by breaking the trade-offs customers had to make between the speed of airplanes and the economy and flexibility of car transport.

How is it different from the red ocean strategy?
Red ocean strategy assumes that an industry's structural conditions are given and that firms are forced to compete within them. To sustain themselves in the marketplace, practitioners of red ocean strategy focus on building advantages over the competition, usually by assessing what competitors do and striving to do it better. Here, grabbing a bigger share of the market is seen as a zero-sum game in which one company's gain is achieved through another company's loss. Hence, competition, the supply side of the equation, becomes the defining variable of strategy. The focus is on dividing up the red ocean, where growth is increasingly limited.

Has any company moved from following the red ocean strategy to the blue ocean strategy successfully? How did they go about doing that?
In our research, we looked back over 100 years of data on blue ocean creations to see what patterns could be discerned. We found that blue oceans were created by both industry incumbents and new entrants, challenging the assumption that start-ups have natural advantages over established companies in creating new market space. In the auto industry, think of GM that created the blue ocean of emotional, stylised cars in the 1920s, or the Japanese manufacturers that created the blue ocean of small, gas efficient autos in the 70s, or again Chrysler that created the blue ocean of minivans in the 80s -- all were incumbents.

Moreover, the blue oceans created by large staid companies were usually within their core businesses. In 1984, for example, Chrysler unveiled the minivan, creating a blue ocean in the auto industry in which the company has been an established existing player.
The minivan broke the boundary between car and van, creating an entirely new type of vehicle. Smaller than the traditional van and yet more spacious than the station wagon, the minivan was exactly what the nuclear family needed to hold the entire family plus its bikes, groceries, and other necessities. And the minivan was easier to drive than a truck or van. Built on the Chrysler K car chassis, the minivan drove like a car but provided more interior room and could still fit in the family garage.

As illustrated in Chrysler's minivan that broke the market boundary between car and van, business leaders should first recognise that market boundaries exist only in managers' minds. They should look systematically across established boundaries of competition and reorder existing elements in different markets to reconstruct them into a new market space where a new level of demand is generated.

How does a company go about looking for blue oceans to compete in?
Blue ocean strategy is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. For example, NTT DoCoMo is the first company to make money out of the mobile internet. In a very competitive industry engaged in a technology race and strong price erosion, NTT DoCoMo was able to achieve superior performance when it launched its novel i-mode services in February 1999. It was an immediate and explosive success in Japan. As with NTT DoCoMo, the goal for a firm's blue ocean strategic move is the pursuit of value innovation -- a leap in value for buyers and company alike. This comes from simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost. The following questions are helpful in achieving value innovation:

- Which of the factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated?
- Which factors should be reduced well below the industry's standard?
- Which factors should be raised well above the industry's standard?
- Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered before?

Blue oceans, after they are created, can be replicated by other competitors in the market. How soon do you think competitors will catch up to the blue ocean strategy?
Our research has shown there have been no perpetually excellent companies, but companies can maintain excellence by adhering to excellent strategic practice. We have to remember that industries never stand still. They continuously evolve. Operations improve, markets expand, and players come and go. If a blue ocean is created, it will not last forever. Eventually the competition will imitate and catch up. As rivalry intensifies, bloody competition commences and the ocean will eventually turn red. If you stay on this course, your strategy will converge with that of the competition and you will be stuck in the competitive trap once again. Dell computer, for example, dominated the blue ocean it had created for more than a decade. The company, however, is now in the middle of a bloody red ocean, with declining performance. The key is to monitor your competitors and as their value curve converges toward yours, you should begin reaching out for another value innovation to create a new blue ocean.

Do you think companies are over-designing products these days and that is putting off users?
Many companies, particularly technology firms, do tend to continuously add small features to their products in an attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition through a continual process of "incremental innovation." Mobile telephone companies are particularly guilty of this, yet each additional "design feature" detracts value from the buyer as the phone becomes increasingly difficult to use. A study from Eindhoven University last year found that in the US nearly half of products returned by customers for refunds were in perfect working order, their owners just couldn't figure out how to use them.

Innovation without value tends to be technology-driven, market pioneering or futuristic design that may shoot beyond what buyers are ready to accept and pay for. Value without innovation tends to focus on value creation on an incremental scale that, at best, improves value but is not sufficient to stand out in the market.

Value innovation is a new way of thinking about and executing strategy that results in the creation of a blue ocean and a break from the competition. More importantly, value innovation defies one of the most commonly accepted dogmas of competition-based strategy -- the value-cost tradeoff.



So, it is a Management+Marketing concept book. Here some brief ideas that i could in put in pieces. A comparison.

Blue Ocean Strategy:

1) Create uncontested Fresh market Space
2) Make the competition irrelevant or not existence.
3) Create and capture new demand

4) Break the value/cost trade-off

5) Align the whole system of a company's activities
in pursuit of differentiation and low cost.

Red Ocean Strategy :

1) Compete in existing & crowded market space
2) Try to beat the competition
3) Exploits existing demand
4) Make the value /cost trade-off
5) Align the whole system of a company's activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost.

Which mean , the companies need to create a new kind of product or service to a new breed of customer in the market,which i think goes back to Marketing 101 : Create The Market
I didnt read the whole book yet but it does sounds familiar.

By the way ,this remind me of Air Asia .The best case study for Malaysian scenario..

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

7 Essential Steps to Surviving a Post-Layoff Existence

(A simple but yet logical steps to survive the rentrenchment ..and also without those 'a la Wall Street' advices-Khairy)

7 Essential Steps to Surviving a Post-Layoff Existence
By: Adam Frucci Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 3:32 PM

So you're one of the unlucky ones. The entire economy is crumbling around us, and with every single company in existence looking to cut costs and become more efficient, you were deemed to be expendable. It's a lousy situation, to be sure, but with the proper mindset and a plan of action, you can turn getting laid off into a springboard to, if not riches and happiness, at least a few steps above complete destitution and desperation. And really, in your situation, that should sound pretty sweet. Don't get greedy. Anyhow, on to your new life plan.

1. Suck Up to Those Who Wronged You
Your former boss took credit for all the work you did and then got you canned to save her own ass. The intern whose resume you pulled from the slush pile was promoted the day you packed your boxes. And the owner of the company continues to rake in millions while you're now forced to subsist on cans of beans you're too sad to heat up before eating. But while you might want to send off emails telling these people what kinds of unspeakable acts they should be subjected to, resist that urge. Instead, swallow what small amount of pride you have left and send them polite emails telling them how much of a pleasure it was to work with them. You never know when they'll be hiring again, after all.

2. Get Mooching
So you're without a source of income. There's a silver lining to that dark cloud: there are all sorts of systems set up to help you, the unemployed. The first thing you've gotta do is sign up for unemployment, but don't stop there. Now's the time to call the folks and ask for a little help. Assuming it's been a while since you asked for money from them, the chances are good that they'll give you a loan or even a gift of some cash. And what about your friends that still have jobs? Now is when you need to start guilting them and guilting them hard. They should provide you with free drinks at the very least, if not free meals. Try to rotate through employed friends in an organized way to spread out the mooching over as long a time period as possible.

3. Follow Your Dreams
Hey, you've always daydreamed about writing that quirky-yet-heartfelt screenplay or launching a Web 2.0 site that lets people keep track of their exercise regimen. What better time to tackle these impractical dreams than now? The worst that could happen is that you'll have filled up your overwhelming and soul-crushing amount of free time with something somewhat productive, and if it works out you could be better off than you were before. But because, realistically speaking, you're way too undisciplined to actually write an entire novel, it's best to also set some realistic goals too. You know, like finishing Fallout 3 or eating an entire pizza in one sitting. Just so you don't get discouraged.

4. Check Craigslist Once Per Day
You've got to put in your time looking for a new job every day, and we all know what that means: scanning Craigslist in the late morning/early afternoon when you wake up. Send off your resume to jobs from the three main categories that you'll find: those that seem below you, those vaguely described and possibly horrible, and those obviously too good for you to ever have a shot. When you never hear back from any of them, chalk it up to a combination of Craigslist being totally worthless and the economy being so bad that it's literally impossible for you to find a new job. You'll then be able to start your day with a clear conscience, knowing that at least you made an effort.

5. Sell Your Junk
You bought all sorts of worthless-yet-valuable junk when you were gainfully employed, and now is the time to turn said junk back into the cash from whence it came. That Wii you haven't touched in 18 months could probably get you over a hundred bucks on eBay, and your fancy digital camera could easily be sold off as well. Any splurges you made on expensive clothes could turn into cash if you bring them to a vintage store that pays for decent items as well. If you run out of possessions to sell and are really desperate, there's always your plasma, semen, or paid medical experiments (which you can find in the back of the paper). There's plenty of cash to be gathered out there for those at the proper level of desperation.

6. Pool Your Lack of Resources
With so many layoffs coming from so many directions, you're far from the only person in your situation. If you're both unemployed and single, why not work on ameliorating both of these problems at once? Seek out available singles of your preferred gender who are also without work in either the dive bar scene or on dating websites. When you find a suitable person, you'll have someone to help waste those long, long days with. And instead of feeling like you need to go out on weekend nights to places that sell pints of beer for $8, you can stay in, watch episodes of Battlestar Galactica on your laptop that you downloaded via BitTorrent, eat those beans (which you'll be cheered up enough to cook) and have lazy, unshowered sex. It's a cheap weekend on a number of levels.

7. Admit defeat and go back to school
OK, so going back to school because you lost your job is basically admitting that you've failed at adulthood. And going and getting something like a MFA in creative writing is essentially like going to a camp for nerdy adults that will leave you further in debt than when you started. But hey, for those three years how awesome will life be? You'll be drinking 25 cent pitchers of beer with a bunch of Midwestern 19 year olds who will be totally enraptured with your horror stories of working in the big bad real world. And your job will be TAing, as I understand it, which I seem to remember not looking like a very tough job. And let's face it, the alternative to this is moving back home with your parents, and I'm certainly not going to suggest such a horrible idea to you. So it looks like getting your masters in medieval literature it is! You're welcome.

7 Essential Steps to Surviving a Post-Layoff Existence Fast Company

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The Talk

I got a confession to make. I am curios as a cat.So addicted to explore new things. Especially about new way to generate money.
So, if i got free time , i never resist any invitations from friends or even from strangers to attend the talk or briefing about any money making opportunities. To listen to the plan and the system. It's a free session anyway. No problem.

1)Cash Generators/Fund Raising Machine
2)Multi Level/Network Marketing
3) Online Business Portal/e-commerce
4) Affiliate Programs
5) 'Brick and mortar' businesses

The only problem is, when your friends or that someone who invited you were so reluctant to brief you about the business before the talk, and they expected you to fully understand from A - Z during the briefing at their centre. The worst part is, when they expected you to sign up instantly without further evaluation..and that sucks.

So please, next time give your 'prospect' a brief infos about the business /opportunities before you bring them to the talk.At least they have enough time to study the outcomes. It will save more time, for both parties.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Big Kahuna of 2009

So, we're in the middle of Global Recession 09. I am not an economist to talk about it but someone warned me about that before, and that was back in 2004. He called that as 'The Third Wave" , The mother of all modern recessions.(that's soo creepy..) So, i guess the recession in the late 80's was the "First Wave" and Asian Financial Crisis in 97 was the "Second Wave"
(So, what about 'The Great Depression' in the 30's . It wont considered as any 'wave' at all, is it? )

He warned me to be prepared but i am still not that fully prepared. My fault.

Anyway, this "Third Wave" already took its toll on millions of blue collars workers around the globe. By March 2009, about 176 000 Malaysian industrial workers are expected to lose their jobs and thousands more will follow. They will join another 60 000 unemployed graduates and if we add with foreign labours in Malaysia who also will be retrench, that will total up to nearly 1 million by end of this year...
Now that's what i called as 'A Big Kahuna' that will swallow any living being.

The question now is..what the hell are we, as a invidual, going to do about that.??

For some people, this is a disaster, the end of everything ...but for some unique people, this recession is a blessing and a chance to look for the alternatives.For them, this is the start of everything. And i want to talk to those unique people.

V for Venture

In Wikipedia, Venture are closely defined as:

1) Venture capital (also known as VC or Venture) is a type of private equity capital typically provided to early-stage, high-potential, growth companies in the interest of generating a return through an eventual realization event such as an IPO or trade sale of the company. Venture capital investments are generally made as cash in exchange for shares in the invested company.Venture capital typically comes from institutional investors and high net worth individuals and is pooled together by dedicated investment firms.

2) A venture capitalist (also known as a VC) is a person or investment firm that makes venture investments, and these venture capitalists are expected to bring managerial and technical expertise as well as capital to their investments. A venture capital fund refers to a pooled investment vehicle (often an LP or LLC) that primarily invests the financial capital of third-party investors in enterprises that are too risky for the standard capital markets or bank loans.

but.. we gonna skip all those multi-millions or billions VC talk. This is about us..the everyday people with 'small pocket' but have only big ambitions larger than real life.

Let's make it simple with the definition from The Free Dictionary
ven·ture - (vnchr)
1. An undertaking that is dangerous, daring, or of uncertain outcome.
2. A business enterprise involving some risk in expectation of gain.
3. Something, such as money or cargo, at hazard in a risky enterprise.

ven·tured, ven·tur·ing, ven·tures
1. To expose to danger or risk
2. To brave the dangers of
3. To express at the risk of denial, criticism, or censure .v.intr.
1. To take a risk; dare.
2. To proceed despite possible danger or risk
3.By mere chance or fortune; at random.

1.venturer -
a merchant who undertakes a trading venture (especially a venture that sends goods overseas)
merchandiser, merchant - a businessperson engaged in retail trade
2.venturer -
1.a person who enjoys taking risks
2.someone who risks loss or injury in the hope of gain or excitement...

So,we going to look at any forms of personal ventures in fund raising. The fund to start your own business. WITHOUT BANK LOANS. It could be Forex, Options, Multi Level Marketing /Network, Internet Pool Program, Internet Affliate Programs, binary system or perhaps, cash gifting programs like IGAM or even Duit Wang Pos ( Postal Money Gifting). Anything, to bring moolah into your fund before you can start the real 'Big Thing' , that is..your own business.

I always love this quote;

" ..Venture a small fish to catch a great one..”

The keyword here is,..we gonna start small,..maybe from USD8 (RM35) .hey if you guys know any cheaper me!! Lets share the infos.

So, let the 'V' begin...