Episode 228: Renee Mauborgne – How To Make Competition Irrelevant (Blue Ocean Strategy)

Renee Mauborgne is the co-author of the global bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy and the just released, indispensable follow-up, BLUE OCEAN SHIFT: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New GrowthBLUE OCEAN SHIFT is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller, and an International Bestseller. Her book Blue Ocean Strategy has sold over 3.6 million copies and is recognized as one of the most iconic and impactful strategy books ever written. It is being published in a record-breaking 44 languages and is a bestseller across five continents. 

She served on President Barack Obama’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for the President’s two terms. She is also a Fellow of the World Economic Forum. Renee is ranked in the top 3 management gurus in the world in the Thinkers50 listing of the World’s Top Management Gurus. She is the highest placed woman ever on Thinkers50. 


“If you’re going to look at other people, you’re going to look like other people.”

Show Notes:

  • Common Themes of Leaders who Sustain Excellence:
    • Not focused on competing with others
      • They create their own space, independent point of view
    • Always interested in learning. Focused on pieces of information
      • Insatiable curiosity, high level learner, a note taker
    • Enormous propensity for hard work
      • Smart people don’t look for short cuts
    • Willing to reinvent self if needed
  • How to not compare yourself to others?
    • “Focus on  delivering a leap in value — they will come to you.”
    • “I don’t look at social media. I look at how creative people are.”
    • “We are all far more creative than we think we are”
    • “If you’re going to look at other people, you’re going to look like other people”
  • Blue Ocean Strategy – What is it?
    • Most companies focus on existing conditions, red oceans, bloody, with sharks
    • Blue ocean companies/people “don’t focus on competing, they focus on creating”
  • How can this help someone with a side hustle? Or someone who wants to create a side hustle?
    • Don’t go into red oceans – don’t do what everyone else does – Create your own distinctive space
      • “It’s not about market competing, it’s about market creating”
  • When people talk about startups, they think “disrupt” — Renee prefers “non disruptive creation”
    • Tony Robbins didn’t disrupt anything. He created a new market (life coaching). He helped create a $2B market
    • The idea of David killing Goliath is romantic but it doesn’t typically work that way
  • New industry recently created — Viagra, Sesame Street, Coaching to get into MBA school, YouTube stylist, Bumble
  • Growth model
    • Solve a new problem (ie. Cyber Security)
    • Redefine the problem the industry focuses on — Cirque du Soleil — “Circus and theatre”
    • AirBnB
  • Expand the opportunity scope
    • “Are there patterns that allow them to be linked”
    • “Creation is not a black box”
  • Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos look to deliver overwhelming value, they do not compete

“It’s not about market competing. It’s about market creating.”

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