Painter? “Startuper”?

Edgar Degas as a Real Entrepreneur.

Lian Hakobyan
Oct 10, 2019 · 3 min read

For those of you who don’t know who the f*ck is Edgar Degas, WELCOME. For those of you who know about Edgar Degas, but don’t understand how he can be connected to startups, MORE THAN WELCOME.

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Abstract Something OR Something Abstract

The story begins like this. Fresh morning air of Lori region, some unknown “Art Collection” book and my 2.7 years of experience reading Startup related books make me to come up with this Mixture and Intersection of Startups and Art. Sounds fancy, right? I also believe so :) Anyway the first touch will be one of my Com Si Com Sa favorite painter, Edgar Degas.

So Called Bio: To be concrete as possible, Edgar Degas is one of the eminent French painters. He is considered as one of the founders of Impressionism, or as he liked to call himself a “Realist” artist. He is most famous for his Ballet Dancers drawings. For more Google…

It’s time to start my research and “curious” observations. (Right now I feel like a Soviet Union spy from the “Bridge of Spies” movie. BTW worth watching if you have a free time and focused mood.)

10* Ideas “proving” Edgar Degas’s Startup Mindset

*Could be more, but I am lazy…

# Target Niche Market: He selected the dance field as the industry where he wants to operate and, particularly, ballet dance as the niche market.

# Conduct your Market Research: Before starting each of his masterpiece, he was doing a thorough research on the color palette, which shop to choose for the drawing equipment, and the drawing personas.

# Talk to your customers: He was personally going and seeing the ballet dancers in order to understand their feelings, emotions, and movements. He was trying to see from their perspective.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas

# Do experiments; Do A/B testing: He was constantly doing experiments with chosen materials, colors, and ideas. He was trying to paint the same picture with different color styles to see which one works and sales better.

# Pivot considering the market need: He shifted from painting history paintings to contemporary paintings. He was primarily painting in the beginning of his journey, such as Alexander and Bucephalus and The Daughter of Jephthah in 1859–60; Sémiramis Building Babylon in 1860; and Young Spartans around 1860.

# Don’t follow the crowd & Market Differentiation: In technical terms, Degas differed from the Impressionists in that he continually shifted from their practice of painting en plein air (meaning open air paintings).

# Do First Sales as a Founder: He was selling his own picture by his own, and his financial situation improved through sales of his own work. Just for the information, gained money he used to pay off his brother’s debts.

# Bringing Innovation through identifying problem: The lack of color in the 1874 Ballet Rehearsal on Stage and the 1876 The Ballet Instructor arose his interest to explore the new technique of photography.

# Have advisers, mentors, and huge network: Throughout his career, he was surrounded with a lot of advisers and mentors, like Édouard Manet, Ingres, Delacroix, and Daumier. Moreover, he has a huge network of painters and press media representative, because of visiting art exhibitions quit often.

# Influence Marketing: He photographed many of his friends, such as double portrait of Renoir and Mallarmé. This made his reputation to increase even more through times of his friends’ audience.

Bonus point for compensating my laziness :)
# Learn, Grow, Change:
His whole working mindset was dependent on these three notions: Learn New things, Grow his personality and professionalism, and Change himself overall.

This story ends with the continuation. I have decided to jump from Degas to the topic “Selecting a painting for the exhibition collection, like choosing a team member for your team.” What do you think?

“Make Art, Create Startup OR Create Startup, Make Art.”


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