Blue Ocean Strategy is a business strategy book authored by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. The central theme of the book is rejecting competition in current business lines and creating new demand, services or goods, a so-called “Blue Ocean.”
Wikipedia describes the metaphor of the market universe as red and blue oceans like this:
” Red Oceans are all the industries in existence today””the known market space. In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. Here companies try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of product or service demand. As the market space gets crowded, prospects for profits and growth are reduced. Products become commodities or niche, and cutthroat competition turns the ocean bloody. Hence, the term red oceans.
Blue oceans, in contrast, denote all the industries not in existence today””the unknown market space, untainted by competition. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. There is ample opportunity for growth that is both profitable and rapid. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. Blue ocean is an analogy to describe the wider, deeper potential of market space that is not yet explored.“