Going above and beyond to capture your white space

I’m becoming more impressed lately with a multitude of non-profit service organizations.

Organizations with a pretty straightforward mission that meet and then exceed your expectations has been pretty rare up until recently. Where does this come from—the ability to provide excellent service while also enabling tangential information or services that support and enhance their mission? I’m speaking specifically of NPR but also of other organizations such as the Knight Foundation and American Cancer Society.

NPR has a neat feature that allows you to hear new music on their site. http://www.npr.org/music/ This is not something I expected to find but something I am thoroughly enjoying. When I think of NPR I think of great personal story-telling, solid and thorough news reporting, and of citizenship. I know see NPR as a culmination of the curiosity in the American soul.

This ability to look beyond your core audience and your core competencies to see what you can offer people outside of your base is striking and brings new opportunities to the core. The NYTimes Labs do this by exploring new realms of data visualization. Foot Locker has recently done this through http://www.sneakerpedia.com/ by providing sneaker fans a space to document sneaker history.