Magnus Resch is quite a phenomenon. He just turned 30 but can look back on a lifetime. Army soldier, serial entrepreneur, university professor and best-selling author. He started early, very early. His first venture at the age of 20 was an art gallery in Switzerland. Following that, he became Managing Director of Springstar, an internet incubator with $2 Billion revenue. His most recent venture, Larry’s List, is a database of contemporary art collectors.
Tell us about Larry’s List.
Larry’s List is a database of contemporary art collectors. It is like an address book packed full of contact details for the most relevant contemporary art collectors. It is a service for art dealers to help them find new customers.
What problem does Larry’s List solve?
Larry’s List helps galleries to identify new customers. Galleries from around the world, including many Art Basel galleries, are using the service. And we have many clients from outside the art world too. Everyone who needs access to an affluent group of contemporary art collectors can use Larry’s List to research their contact details, collection information and business interests.
How does Larry’s List disrupt the traditional arts industry?
Imagine if Christie’s were to put all their customer data online. The contact details, collection preferences and art engagement information for all the collectors paying millions of dollars for artworks. This is Larry’s List. We are the address book every gallery, auction house and art dealer has been looking for, making meticulously researched collector profiles accessible to everyone for a fair price.
You have just published a best-selling book on the management of art galleries. How can art galleries leverage new technologies for profit?
Gallery owners need to change their mindset. They need to be businessmen first and only later creative people. As any good businessman, a gallery manager will then realise that new technologies can act as additional distribution channels. By selling works online on platforms or through mobile apps, galleries may find new customers. Will artists eventually sell directly to the customers, leaving out the gallery owners? No. Galleries will always be the curators of the art market.
What is your top piece of advice for entrepreneurs in the arts sector?
If your plan is to open another gallery – don’t do it! It’s a terribly hard thing to do. If you want to start a company in the art world focus on two things: (1) money not the beauty of the arts, (2) those customers who are currently left out of the market. They have the highest potential.
Inspired? We look forward to seeing you at the Startup Weekend Art London in October!