1 – Museum as Startup

Wednesday 08 November
@ LACMA - Study Center
09:00 AM
Case Study

To start a museum, it’s essential to embrace key aspects of startup culture. But even established museums can harness startup thinking for success.  


Rich Cherry and Alex Capriotti will discuss how opening new museums including The Broad, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, and The Main Museum, and working at numerous established museums, has shaped their approach. They will discuss how to use startup principles with both large-scale initiatives like opening a museum, and with smaller-scale technology, marketing, operations, and communications projects.


The pair will discuss essential principles of success for museums, including:

  1. Putting together a hardworking, collaborative team
  2. Committing a majority of time to the most important tasks, while still allowing for opportunity and space to explore out-of-scope ideas
  3. Developing a staff and culture that is open to and interested in brainstorming, critiquing, and giving/receiving feedback
  4. Making sure all areas of the museum understand and embrace the mission and goals
  5. Building with the idea that you will likely need to pivot or adjust in the future
  6. Seeing everything as an experiment
  7. Releasing ‘beta’ versions so you can learn earlier in the process
  8. And, most importantly, being open to failing regularly and often