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March 9, 2009

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Deliberately Unsustainable Business Models

Nina Simon on the need to sometimes burn bright:

I once asked Eric Siegel, the Director of the New York Hall of Science, why museums are rarely innovative shining stars on the cutting edge of culture. He commented that as non-profits, museums are built to survive, not to succeed. Unlike startups and rock stars, museums aren’t structured to shoot for the moon and burn up trying. They’re made to plod along. Maybe it’s time to change that.

If you’re not reading Nina’s Museum 2.0 blog… you should be!

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Posted March 9, 2009 at 11:17 | Comments (3) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted

Comments

Or maybe we should all take a lesson from museums and start designing businesses that are built to survive, not just shoot for the moon and burn up trying.

Touche!

I love the synthesis of the two ideas at the end:

The underlying dysfunction that Elizabeth mentions is often an inability to focus on anything but survivability. To make it, museums need to survive AND succeed. I think it's important for museums to undergo an exercise in which you list out two types of things:

1) core services that people depend on and need to survive....

2) services you provide that make you awesome. What drives people through your door, gets them excited, and connects them passionately with your content?

And then this terrific summary:

You should be able to point with pride to both the ways you support the community with reliable, consistent services and supreme awesomeness. The desire to survive will always exist, whether you run a small institution or a giant one. It's human nature to want to keep your job and keep doing what you're doing. The challenge is not to make it your primary goal.

Awesome Must Survive. Awesome Must Survive.

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