Disrupt with Jonathan Greye


Step Into the Disruptive World of Meow Wolf

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in this episode of "Disrupt with Jonathan Greye, I'll take you on an incredible journey into the disruptive world of Meow Wolf.

Meow Wolf is an artist collective that’s completely reimagined the fusion of art, technology, and storytelling. 

I’ll share how this diverse group of artists from Santa Fe transformed a daring idea into a multimillion-dollar reality, reshaping the landscape of art and entertainment. 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a creative, or simply someone who loves to be whisked away into other worlds, this episode is designed to inspire you to see the potential of engagement, the power of a steadfast vision, and the boundless opportunities in disruptive innovation. 

Join me on this captivating exploration into the disruptive world of Meow Wolf – where every piece of art is a door to the unimaginable.

episode #2 transcript

Hey I’m Jonathan Greye and this is Disrupt – A podcast, where we dive deep into the art of disruptive branding. Together, we’ll explore bold strategies, innovative ideas, and the daring mindset required to transform your brand from mundane to memorable. 

So if your business is looking to challenge conventions, embrace innovation, and redefine what it means to be disruptive in today’s attention retention economy, then you’re in the right place. 

Welcome to Disrupt.

Today, we’re exploring a truly unique disruptor in the art and entertainment world: Meow Wolf. 

Meow Wolf is an artist collective who completely redefined the boundaries between art, technology, and storytelling.

Imagine stepping into a sprawling, fantastical world where every corner, every room, and every passage leads you into a kaleidoscope of vivid storytelling, sensory exploration, and imaginative wonder. 

Picture this…

(Grocery Story BG Music)

You’ve just stepped into what appears to be an ordinary supermarket, the Omega Mart, in Las Vegas. 

But as you venture deeper, it quickly becomes clear that this is no typical grocery store. 

As you wander the aisles, products on the shelves start to defy logic and expectation. 

Imagine finding “Plausible Deniability Laundry Detergent” or “Camel’s Milk” branded as “Almost Milk.” 

Each product, each label, is an art piece, a puzzle piece of a much larger story waiting to be uncovered.

Then, you notice a cooler that seems slightly off, or a vending machine that doesn’t quite belong. 

(Cinematic Sci-fi Music)

As you step closer, curiosity takes over, and you find yourself pulled into a portal, leaving the familiar supermarket behind. 

Suddenly, you’re in a fluorescent, alien landscape, where the laws of physics and logic no longer apply. 

You’re free to explore, to interact with the environment that’s alive with light, sound, and movement.

Each room, each space you discover, tells part of a story, but not in words. 

It’s a narrative you feel, a story you piece together through exploration and interaction. 

The installation is a network of mysteries, a canvas of collective storytelling where every visitor’s experience is unique.

Omega Mart is more than an art exhibit; it’s a playground for the imagination, a place where art meets alternate reality, and where every detail, from the products on the shelves to the hidden passages and rooms, invites you to question the nature of reality itself.

Sounds incredible, right?

(Musc fades)

Meow Wolf not only challenges the norms of traditional art viewing but also invites participants of all ages to engage in a shared experience of discovery and play. 

So how did an eclectic group of artists in Santa Fe turn an unconventional idea into a multimillion-dollar phenomenon that’s redefining what an art experience can be? 


Let’s find out.

[Transition Sound Effect]

It all started back in 2008. A collective of artists in Santa Fe, New Mexico, were looking for a way to break the mold of traditional art galleries and exhibitions. 

They wanted to create something immersive, something interactive, something that visitors could not only see but be a part of. 

And so, Meow Wolf was born. 

But it wasn’t an easy road. 

Finding space, securing funding, and convincing the world that their vision was viable posed significant challenges. 

Yet, with determination and a bit of luck, they turned an old bowling alley into an immersive, multimedia art installation that’s captivated hundreds of thousands of visitors since its opening in 2016.

What sets Meow Wolf apart is its approach to the art experience. 

It’s not just art you look at; it’s art you step into, art you become a part of. 

This is the essence of Meow Wolf: creating spaces where the lines between art, technology, and storytelling blur into one cohesive, immersive experience.

Making Meow Wolf not just an art collective; but a disruptor. 

[Transition Sound Effect]

By reimagining the art experience, Meow Wolf challenges the traditional gallery and museum model. It’s not about observing from a distance; it’s about engaging, interacting, and interpreting. 

This disruption has not only drawn visitors from all over the world but has also sparked a conversation about the future of art and entertainment. 

How can spaces become more engaging? 

How can art become more accessible? 

Meow Wolf is leading by example, showing that the possibilities are as vast as the imagination.

The success of Meow Wolf lies in its innovative business model as well. 

Initially funded by the collective’s own resources and a small group of investors, including author George R.R. Martin, Meow Wolf has grown into a sustainable business. 

With ticket sales, merchandise, and expanding to new locations like Las Vegas and Denver, Meow Wolf has shown that disruptive art can also be economically viable. 

But as they grow, the challenge becomes how to maintain that disruptive edge, how to keep pushing the boundaries without losing the essence of what made them unique.

So, what can entrepreneurs and business owners learn from Meow Wolf?

[Transition Sound Effect]

Don’t Be Afraid to Challenge Industry Norms

At its inception, Meow Wolf took a bold stance against the conventional gallery and museum experiences. 

By challenging the status quo, they didn’t just create an alternative; they created an entirely new category of immersive art experiences.

This was a gamble that required them to venture into uncharted territory, where success was not guaranteed.

The key takeaway here is the importance of courage in entrepreneurship. 

To make a mark in your industry, consider what “norms” are accepted without question and dare to envision a different approach. 

It’s about seeing beyond the existing frameworks and being bold enough to think that things can be done differently, and better. 

This mindset can open up new markets, attract a passionate customer base, and set your venture apart from competitors.

Engagement Is Key

Meow Wolf understood that modern audiences crave participation and interaction. 

Their installations are not passive; they are designed to be touched, explored, and experienced. 

This level of engagement creates a deeper connection between the visitor and the artwork, turning a simple visit into a memorable adventure.

Engagement transcends mere attention. 

The real currency is the emotional and memorable connections you forge with your customers. 

This means thinking beyond the functional benefits of your product or service and considering how you can create an engaging, immersive experience that resonates on a personal level. 

Whether through personalized services, interactive marketing, or community building, find ways to involve your customers in the narrative of your brand.

Stay True to Your Vision

Despite their growth and the pressures that come with scaling, Meow Wolf has remained steadfastly committed to their original vision: to provide transformative, immersive art experiences that challenge perceptions and inspire creativity. 

This adherence to their core identity has not only helped them maintain their unique position in the market but has also fostered a loyal community of followers.

As your business grows, you’ll face countless decisions and opportunities that could lead you away from your original vision. 

The lesson from Meow Wolf is to remember why you started in the first place. 

Your vision is your compass; it should guide your decisions, especially when faced with the temptation to conform for short-term gains. 

Growth and scalability are indeed vital, but they should not come at the cost of your business’s soul.

A clear, consistent vision not only guides internal decision-making but also helps your customers understand and connect with your brand on a deeper level.

[Transition Sound Effect]

Looking ahead, the future of disruptive experiences seems boundless. 

With technology advancing and consumer expectations evolving, the demand for immersive, interactive experiences will only grow. 

Meow Wolf’s continued expansion and experimentation with new projects signal just the beginning of what’s possible when creativity meets innovation.

[Outro Music]

That’s all for today’s episode of “Disrupt.” I hope you’ve been inspired by the story of Meow Wolf and the incredible impact of disruptive experiences. 

Before you go, we’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Have you visited a Meow Wolf installation? 

How do you see disruptive experiences evolving in your industry? 

Share with me on social media or drop me a line.

And if you liked this episode, don’t forget to subscribe for more stories of innovation and disruption.

Thanks again for listening and remember…

Keep challenging, keep creating, and keep disrupting. 

See you next time!

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