There's a weird comformity effect where one tends to think in the same terms as those around you, so you see the same issues, consider the same alternatives along the same dimensions. This can happen without you noticing it, your direct perception sublimating like a dream on waking.
There is gold, just one or two steps off the beaten track, but we can't see it, because we are on rails, only thinking in terms the track affords.
But it's not so easy to go off the rails: you can easily get disoriented and overwhelmed, and once you have found something, it's difficult to verify... and even harder to convince anyone else.
Take a look what Chinese do, and their logic:
Making manufacturing business is HARD, harder, or many times harder than a yet another online service.
Growing and scaling such business is also hard, and it does not scale much downward as such (you have to fire workers, and they riot on you, storm your apartment and beat you and your familiy.)
The business is noticeably seasonal and have sharp highs and lows when it comes to consumer goods.
"The next big thing" opportunity like phones and tablets are come and go, they last a maximum of 2 "feast" years.
There are "cash crop" type products like battery banks, chargers, usb flash sticks. It makes profit all the time, but it's not that high.
In between big contracts, or when the factory is busy making products for itself in a feast year, factory owner do not shed capacity, but switch most of if to cash crop product
Then he puts together most talented engineers and gives them task to invent random stuff, and do trial run manufacturing.
Instead of setting up a brand around these new products, they are unceremoniously dumped to trade agents.
If agents will be placing a lot of repeating orders, then, more consideration will be given to such product.
That is "the complicated Chinese strategy" in 9 sentences.
Be careful of blue ocean ideas though. Most of the time, the market might not exist yet. The ocean is blue because there's nothing to feed on there.
I find this to be empty & impractical. If this methodology were beneficial, blue ocean businesses would be propping up like mushrooms.
I challenge anyone who's read this to propose a single blue ocean idea here
The hard part isn't ideas. The hard part is finding actual problems that can be solved in a better way. As ycombinator put it: You have to "find customers with their hair on fire". Finding that kind of problem, along with a better way to solve that problem, is the key.
Metaphors are easier to come by than good ideas.
Chinese factories and OEMs are great at this soft of things, and they do it in a very simple way. That simple way is rather hard to adopt for companies in the West that are invested in their "core product" even if they have full realization that it is about to die.
Remember things like selfie sticks, electronic cigars, the bloody wifi lightbulbs and kettles, hoverboards, child trackers, consumer grade drones, and tons of other stuff that most people buy without giving any thought to who and how made the original product.
Why fight over chewed-up turf? If you're able, focus on a greenfield hard tech idea well ahead of anyone else.
Text-only cache link: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5Yzj1yH...
Am I a wrong to be a bit put off by seeing 'complimentary' twice in prominent places in the article where if one saw 'compl_mentary' one would be 99.999% certain that the '_' should be an 'e'? May we dare assess quality of thought by quality of expression nowadays?
Perhaps, for some reason beyond me, the writer indeed meant 'complimentary.' Perhaps the writer is an ESL writer who is being kind enough to write my language for my benefit. Here is my blue ocean alternative to address this obstacle to understanding: offer those who post an easy and guilt-free way to disclose, as a tourist does when reading phonetic translations from a cheat-sheet, that they are using a language in which they are likely to err for the benefit of the audience. Or perhaps this comment text box could allow proof-reading a translation of the contents to another language before posting. Would that be a complementary feature?