What is our product?

April 4, 2014

Fahrrader 1 (1894) from the German series, Meyers Konversations Lexikon, a black and white lithograph of different types of bicycles. Sourced from rawpixel.

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You are viewing a post that’s more than three years old. There’s a good chance that a lot of the following is seriously out-of-date (or at least not reflective of my current thinking on this topic). Proceed with caution.

Simon and Carolyn’s excellent presentation on digital transformation has me thinking about where (and how) digital activities would ideally be integrated into a museum, and I keep thinking about how much easier it would be to do this if I knew what our product was. Like, as an art museum, what is the main thing that we make? It’s not the collections; it’s not probably even the objects. Is it the scholarship? The interpretation? I don’t know.

If I did know, however, I would quickly figure out how the museum should be structured to deliver services in support of that product (or those products, I guess). I almost envy the relative simplicity of a retail organization in this sense. In retail, anything that doesn’t support increased sales (or better customer service, or whatever) is cut. I think the digital services (and non-digital services, for that matter) that we provide would be easier to define if we had that kind of clarity around our central product.

Of possible further interest: