Why every company should bring history in-house

Disney has it. So does Levi’s. IBM definitely do. Stripe probably will soon. Even Theranos has one (albeit an alternative version). Can you guess what it is?

A company historian.

The big companies have had these for a while. Some have even built full-scale museums dedicated to their stories, artifacts and milestones.

Why bother? There’s the celebratory aspect, sure. But the historians can help business avoid expensive mistakes, attract talent, and even generate new assets and revenue streams.

Here’s the thing - the historian is no longer reserved for the behemoths.

I know a company with a few hundred employees that has a team member acting as a kind of “Fractional Historian”. They collate all kinds of stuff - board meeting notes, social media campaigns, product launches, and beyond. Over 15 years of operations they have a ton of valuable stuff that helps inform where they’re going next.

And today’s tools mean even a 50, 20 or 5 person operation can build their own archive vault.

It’s tempting to keep chasing what’s next; to jump on the next new thing. But there’s massive value hidden in the archives.

You may surprise yourself at what you find in there.

P.S. Two areas of opportunity:
1) create a fractional role for yourself at your company;
2) start an agency that provides Plug-In Vault Curation to a bunch of businesses.

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