Entrepreneur Hoover describes next venture: Museums

Before describing his recipe for success to a Bud Center audience today, entrepreneur Gary Hoover told the Business Report Daily during a one-on-one interview how he would apply it to his next venture.
Hoover, who launched Hoovers.com, the online clearinghouse for business information, and watched Barnes & Noble Booksellers grow out of another company he founded, said he would build start a national chain of for-profit museums by next spring.
Road Story USA, a museum dedicated to the American road and all things connected with it, will open in a quarter-million-square-foot former General Motors plant in Hoover’s hometown, Anderson, Ind.
And when it does, it will be born by curiosity, a sense of history and a sense of geography — the first three of the eight keys that Hoover says must be in place for any successful enterprise.
“This is going to be a wonderful time to be in the museum business,” Hoover said, seeing the stars aligning to shift entrepreneurship from the left-brainers to the right. “We’re rolling over to where the ability to tell stories, to talk, to write and to communicate are the most important things we can apply.”
Hoover, the consummate reader, said his thinking on the new venture was guided partly by author Daniel Pink and his book, “Whole New Mind.”
“His projections about future trends are pretty valid, I think,” Hoover said.
Those projections, based partly on demographic trends that will put aging, affluent baby-boomers in the driver’s seat to determine market trends. Arts and entertainment industries will flourish, he suggests.
Hoover said he’ll build on such models of successful museum ventures as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Washington D.C.’s International Spy Museum and the City Museum in St. Louis.
A design for the museum that will open in 80,000 square feet of the empty auto plant, will steer visitors to exhibits as varied as the rise of the automobile and the evolution of the roadside diner. On deck after the prototype museum opens?
“There are a lot of things we could do,” Hoover said. “Fashion Story USA. Food Story USA.”
Hoover said that when he attended a recent meeting of a museum trade group, others predicted failure for his idea.
“You know, people in the bookstore business said that about Barnes & Noble,” he said.

Before describing his recipe for success to a Bud Center audience today, entrepreneur Gary Hoover told the Business Report Daily during a one-on-one interview how he would apply it to his next venture.
Hoover, who launched Hoovers.com, the online clearinghouse for business information, and watched Barnes & Noble Booksellers grow out of another company he founded, said he would build start a national chain of for-profit museums by next spring.
Road Story USA, a museum dedicated to the American road and all things connected with it, will open in a quarter-million-square-foot former General Motors plant in Hoover’s hometown, Anderson, Ind.
And when it does, it will be born by curiosity, a sense of history and a sense of geography — the first three of the eight keys that Hoover says must be in place for any successful enterprise.
“This is going to be a wonderful time to be in the museum business,” Hoover said, seeing the stars aligning to shift entrepreneurship from the left-brainers to the right. “We’re rolling over to where the ability to tell stories, to talk, to write and to communicate are the most important things we can apply.”
Hoover, the consummate reader, said his thinking on the new venture was guided partly by author Daniel Pink and his book, “Whole New Mind.”
“His projections about future trends are pretty valid, I think,” Hoover said.
Those projections, based partly on demographic trends that will put aging, affluent baby-boomers in the driver’s seat to determine market trends.…