Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Art.sy and Pandora: Similar Capabilities

In the article, Capitalizing on Capabilities, the authors mention how organizations in different industries can learn from each other, especially if they both focus on the same set of capabilities; “Compare your organization with companies that have world-class performance in your target capabilities. Quite possibly, these companies won't be in the same industry as your organization. It's often helpful, therefore, to look for analogous industries where companies may have developed extraordinary strength in the capability you desire.

Upon reading this, I thought of the similarities between Pandora, a site that helps users discover music they like, and Art.sy,  a startup that aims to help people discover art based on their aesthetic preferences. Even the technology and research behind the two are similiar; while Pandora was a product of the Music Genome Project, Art.sy relies on the Art Genome Project.

Often referred to as the Pandora of the art world, Art.sy has certainly looked at emulating the capabilities of the internet radio site. In fact, one of the names included in Art.sy’s list of advisors and investors is none other than that of Joe Kennedy, CEO of Pandora. I assume this is because both Art.sy and Pandora revolve around helping people discover artists; one in art and the other in music.

Before Pandora, it was difficult to find new artists based on one’s own taste in music, especially artists belonging to different time periods or even countries. The same problem exists in the art world, given the numerous galleries around the world all representing both domestic and international artists. As such, Art.sy will help people discover art that might interest them despite of geographic and monetary limitations.

Given that Pandora is now a widely successful internet radio with over 80 million users, it can guide Art.sy in areas such as development of a strong customer base and customer retention. It can even help the startup around issues regarding copyrights and royalties; in Art.sy’s case it would have to obtain permission from various galleries, museums, and artists. Even the revenue models have similiraties although to a lesser degree; Pandora relies on advertisements and subscriptions while Art.sy will rely mostly on commissions and possibly, a subscription fee charged to galleries represented.

In all, Art.sy and Pandora are really interesting examples of how the same technology and, to a certain extent, the same business model can be applied to different industries. I don’t know whether Pandora inspired Art.sy but I’m tempted to think it did. Carter Cleveland, the computer scientist behind Art.sy, must have figured that if music could be decoded into a set of genomes, so could art.

1 comment:

  1. There's lots of great thing happening in the art world now. Whether they're online such as Art.sy or Artfinder (helping users to discover more art from their home) or mobile such as ArtSpotter (which is encouraging you to explore the art around your city). I think the art world is going to become more accessible and popular with the general public, just as the record and then the mp3 did for music.

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