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The Innovator's Dilemma

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on Tuesday, 01 April 2014
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screen shot 2014-04-01 at 7.47.35 pmThis blog exerpt is taken from an interview with Craig Chamberlain regarding challenging issues Theatre owners might facing during growth and expansion.

Moderator: Good Afternoon, I am speaking with Craig Chamberlain, business professional, entrepreneur and Berklee College of Music alumnus. Today we are discussing issues theatre companies might consider when they're going through growth and expansion. Can you speak to this?

Craig: Yes, certainly. The three areas that theaters may want to look at when looking at growth or innovation are marketing, technology and creative content. The third item, creative content, is generally the easiest for production companies to grasp and actually accomplish. That's what people get into live entertainment for in the first place, is creation and innovation. So you write a new play, you sing a different song; that tends not to be very difficult for most theatre companies to embrace.

The other two areas, marketing and technology, are a little different. First, with marketing, going to the outside world, from the non-theater world, to market your productions, can be very daunting. You'll be dealing with people that are non theatre people, you'll be outside your comfort zone and it's a different world. Every industry has their insiders and their comfort zone and going outside to market your theatre can be challenging. You'll be dealing with newspapers or online services or whatever, and they're not the same people you're used to dealing with on a day to day basis, like choreographers or composers, and that can be challenging. So that's one challenge that theatres will have.

The other area is technology. It's very hard to keep up both intellectually and financially with cutting edge technology in theare. If you're a company that's large enough, you might have a technical director that keeps up with everything, who reads publications or is on certain mailing lists. That's great and wonderful but it's hard to justify spending all the money to upgrade equipment But if you take a look at the long-term, look at some of the innovations that have come about in the past few years and you can really see how they have benefited theatre both creatively and financially.

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