After studying 150 examples of innovation, the authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne discovered that ultra-successful companies are ones that create new territories (or blue oceans) for their products, rather than competing in existing markets (red oceans) by trimming prices and profits to gain market share. The book cites dozens of prime examples, in both low- and high-tech industries. For instance, Casella Wines lured non wine drinkers into the market with its Yellow Tail brand of moderately priced bottles of shiraz and chardonnay, while Cirque du Soleil targeted theatergoers as its audience instead of duking it out in the circus industry.

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