Monday, April 9, 2007

Museums and Beer School

I spent some time talking today with a friend and colleague, Joann Lindstrom, currently in graduate school for public administration, about start-ups. She's been reading a book called Beer School, about the founding of the Brooklyn Brewery. She was impressed by the founders dedication and willingness to stick through some tough times and obstacles along the way. She raised the connection of how and why a for-profit look at start-ups is relevant to non-profits. We're always talking about the big idea, and mission, and vision--but sometimes organizations also need a dose of reality. If you're starting a history organization in a community of 1200 people--maybe you're not going to be able to raise a million dollars. At the same time, we both have seen organizations where passion really makes a difference. If you're the whiny type, it's guaranteed you'll never raise a million dollars. So our recommendation from our diner lunch--without the passion and vision, there's not a chance of succeeding--but those dreams should be tempered with the reality, perhaps.

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