The Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, has made what appear to be some horrendous business decisions.
They started out okay. They built a top-notch experiential learning museum that gets kids touching and expereincing science education, not just staring at dusty vacuum tubes.
Then, after developing this great model, they gave it away.
They encouraged other museums to copy it. They even paid to train other museum staff on their model. And until recently, they didn’t even charge other museums to use the Exploratorium’s own exhibits.
And what happened?
They revolutionized science education and museums.
Across the country they have had a dramatic impact in how science is taught. Their impact extends far beyond their own facility.
This “terrible business decision” worked because they aren’t a business. They are following a mission. And they will help other educators who are also following that mission.
And that’s a big reason why they have been featured in Forces for Good as a high-impact nonprofit. It’s a lesson we can all take to heart.