What is a business model?
At Harvard Business School, Professor Tom Eisenmann teaches that “a business model is an integrated array of distinctive choices specifying a startup’s unique customer value proposition and how it will configure activities—including those of its partners—to deliver that value and earn sustainable profits.”
In Business Model Generation, authors Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur suggest that a business model “describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.”
Both definitions hinge on the word “value.” This abstract concept hovers around “money,” and maybe “art.” Since the most recent Financial Crisis (and probably before, but I’m young) the art world has been searching for new models—disruption—to match the changing economic climate. The greater publishing industry has already been disrupted. Art publishing, the grey area in this venn diagram, is ripe for business model innovation.
Adam Huttler, Executive Director of Fractured Atlas, offers a helpful analogy for the current art publishing business model: “…Someone offers you a bet. He’s going to flip a coin; if it’s heads you lose $100; if it’s tails you win nothing.”
Would you take that bet?
Huttler uses this metaphor to explain the position of art administrators, but it works just as well for art publishers. But is breaking-even success?
Next week: Love and Loss