Friday, October 31, 2008

Branson, Blue Oceans and Entrepreneurs

I'm reading two books at the moment - Blue Ocean Strategy from Kim and Mauborgne and Business Stripped Bare from Richard Branson. Both are fascinating. I love reading about new approaches to business - same reason I subscribe to Harvard Business Review. If you consider the current economic crisis, these books take on a whole new importance. In a previous post, Opportunities from a Banking Meltdown, I talk about the need to look at the positive rather than focusing on the doom and gloom going around at the moment. These books may help you to think differently about the world.

As an aside in relation to the financial crisis. A colleague in London said it wasn't at the point where he needed to invest in a hard hat to protect against fallers from the ledges above!

I haven't finished either book yet but from what I have extracted so far from Branson he talks about business in a really straightforward and refreshing way. I saw him on CNBC recently and he was saying Virgin are even considering going back into the mortgage lending market because opportunities are opening up! This is not quite a Blue Ocean strategy but it resonates with me because I believe (as does Branson apparently) that now is a great time for creating new market offerings. It could be a new service or a new product but if you have any entrepreneurial spirit inside, there are openings presenting themselves now which would never have been considered possible only a few weeks ago. All bets are off (well, maybe not all, but certainly many).

I know lots of people have been affected by recent events but it really annoys me that so much coverage in the media and general day to day conversations focus on the bad stuff. People say we can't talk ourselves into a recession. I disagree. I believe we have talked ourselves into one and the only way out will be to change our perceptions about the state of the world. That's why entrepreneurs are so important and why they should be supported and why the media should be talking about them at every opportunity - especially now.

If you have any spare time and want to read a couple of books that might help you think about business in a different way, I can highly recommend both of these.