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Is there a template or common pattern that explains the extraordinary success of diverse companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Groupon, Cirque du Soleil, Southwest Airlines, and Nintendo (Wii)? I believe there is. It's called “The Disruptor’s Journey.”
In 2005, W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, published a groundbreaking book on business strategy, “Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.” To date, the Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS) book has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into more than 40 languages. In the world of business books, the BOS book is a resounding success especially in terms of sales. But, how robust and relevant is the tool of Blue Ocean Strategy? Can the classic concept of BOS systematically explain the apparent Blue Ocean Success of companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Groupon, Cirque du Soleil, Southwest Airlines, and Nintendo (Wii)? I’m afraid not.
The closest approach that deeply explains the Blue Ocean Success of the above businesses may surprise many people, for the origin of the approach is not in business. The origin of the approach is in mythology and in particular, storytelling. In 1949, the mythologist, Joseph Campbell published what has now become a classic, “The Hero With a Thousand Faces.” In that book, Campbell presented the idea that all legendary heroes in epic journeys – fictional or real – go through similar acts and stages from an Ordinary World through a Special World to a New World and consequently, become heroes. Campbell's Hero's Journey has influenced the script of blockbuster films such as "Star Wars" and "The Matrix."
In the parlance of Kim and Mauborgne, we could say that all extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs/businesses go through a journey from the Red Ocean (Ordinary World) through a Special World (Blue Ocean Strategy/Process/Journey) to a Blue Ocean (New World). Throughout history, 'heroic' disruptions and 'creative destructions' have been the catalysts of structural change and progress in society. A disadvantage of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is that, unlike in Kim and Mauborgne’s concept of Blue Ocean Strategy, Campbell’s language and milestones do not directly tie in with business activities. Nevertheless, Campbell has been influential enough to play a key role in the work of several business authors including Geoffrey Moore (“Crossing the Chasm”), Steve Blank (“The Four Steps to the Epiphany”), and Nancy Duarte (“Resonate”).
Of the above business authors, who have used Campbell's Hero Journey, Duarte is special in that she notes that extraordinarily successful storytellers and presenters such as Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, and Abraham Lincoln follow the dramatic transformative structure of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. The final question is: Is there a simple-to-use framework that combines ideas from Kim and Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy with Campbell’s Hero Journey? The good news is that there is. It’s called “The Disruptor’s Journey.”
For a limited time only, a visual template of The Disruptor’s Journey can FREELY be obtained from:
In conclusion, The Disruptor’s Journey is a one-page template that summarizes ideas from Blue Ocean Strategy, The Hero’s Journey, TRIZ, Theory of Constraints, and many other tools for problem solving and innovation. Although the template of the Disruptor's Journey can be used to answer any "Wicked Question," for businesses it provides a roadmap for answering the toughest business question: "How to Generate Massive Growth in Customers, Happiness, and Value ... in No Time?"
I’d be glad to hear your feedback especially after you’ve checked out “The Disruptor’s Journey.” What extraordinary business success did you explain using The Disruptor's Journey?