Business Strategy Monday–Creating Your Value Curve


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(1) To devalue: To make something less important

We devalued advertising and instead focused on product quality.

(2) Untouchable: Something that can’t be hurt

After last year’s sales numbers, he’s untouchable. They would never fire him.

(3) Dependable: Trustworthy, something that won’t become bad

He’s the most dependable person in the office. We can trust him to do a good job.



1. What’s one way to create a blue ocean value curve?

a. Lower your prices

b. Value the things customers care about the most

c. Value things differently than the competition

2. What’s a second way to create a blue ocean value curve?

a. Add a new value to the curve

b. Add style to your curve

c. Value everything highly

3. What value did Apple add to the computer industry curve?

a. Style

b. Ease of use

c. Price

7 ________________________



By Jeremy Schaar

In the past three weeks, you’ve learned what blue ocean strategy is, how one company has used the strategy well, and how to draw a value curve for your industry. This week, you’ll review those three concepts and then think about how you might redraw the value curve and find a blue ocean strategy for your company. You’ll learn more good strategy vocabulary and gain ideas that can strengthen your company’s strategy.

First, what is blue ocean strategy? Blue ocean strategy is when your company creates a value curve that other companies in your industry don’t use. That way you don’t have competition.

What is a value curve? A value curve is a group of things that are important to your industry. For example, restaurants will have taste, price, and location on their value curve. Your curve depends on how important each thing is to you.

To create a value curve, you should think about which things are important in your industry and how important each thing is for your company.

How To Redraw Your Value Curve And Find A Blue Ocean

There are two ways to redraw your value curve and find a blue ocean. First, you can change how you value the things on your curve. For example, if all the restaurants care about taste, you might devalue taste and just have a restaurant in a good location with a good price.

But there’s another way. You can add things to the value curve. Let’s say all the restaurants care about price, taste, and location. You could find a blue ocean by adding entertainment to the curve. If your restaurant is the only one with a jazz band playing, then you will succeed.

A great example of this strategy is from Apple.

Here’s a typical value curve for the computer industry in the 1990s.

Computer Value Curve

And here’s the value curve that Apple drew in order to find a blue ocean and become untouchable for ten years.

Screen shot 2013-08-25 at 7.44.02 PM

Apply reduced the importance of features and price. They focused on making a computer that was easy to use and dependable. And they added style. No one else was doing all those things. Apple didn’t capture the whole market with their strategy. For many people a feature or the price was the most important thing. But by adding style and refocusing on dependability and ease of use, they were hugely successful.

To redraw your own value curve, that’s what you need to do: Change how you value things and find things to value that other companies aren’t even thinking about yet.

Want to study Business English? Check out the main site for our lessons.

Want to learn more about blue ocean strategy? Click here.

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


Answers To Today’s Questions

C, A, A


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

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