The Zollverein School in Essen, Germany was a great hope for the business design field, starting the first MBA of its kind in Europe. But this newspaper story lays out a tale of caution for anyone starting a venture like this. In short, it seems the gorgeous new building they constructed to house the school has become a real estate liability. Even with taxpayer funding, the operating costs are a burden.
The dot com downturn of 2001 sank some firms like Scient but not others like Razorfish. The difference wasn’t client base or capabilities (or even the fact that I was working at Razorfish :), it was real estate liabilities. Scient invested in a lot of expensive offices whereas Razorfish put their spare cash in the bank for a rainy day.
Let’s hope the Berlin C-School — through partnership with Steinbeis University — avoids this issue.
“Don’t own nothin’ if you can help it. If you can, rent your shoes.” —
Tom Peters Forrest Gump