Business lessons from Jay Z and Warren Buffet

I recently watched an interview in which 2 of the great Entrepreneurs of our time shared their experiences and their methods. You may be thinking there is a typo in the title, let me confirm for you; Jay Z (real name Shawn Carter) is a great Businessman of our time.  Warren Buffet deserves legendary status for what he has achieved and for the knowledge he has shared, but I was amazed with Jay-Z and want to share

Having loved music from a young age, when he approached the market he was going into something he loved. His Value Proposition was simple; Music you can dance to, Lyrics you can relate to. In this simple concept he provided the perfect product. He also realised that his pride was not bigger than his business. His initial work was high quality but sales did not reflect that. He quickly realised that “you can be an artist and make money” and his follow up work targeted a different audience. He said he was willing to “dumb down in order to double his dollars” and whilst he personally felt the product was not as high quality as his previous work, he realised it was now a product that would sell more and that surely is the game;  “Produce something that your customers want to buy”. In many famous case studies, Entrepreneurs have had to go past their ego and in order to change their product to align to what the market wants.

With the money he accumulated with his record sales, Shawn Carter, invested in a number of businesses. Some music related and some not. His Tidal Streaming service provides a large percentage of this revenue but he has a number of other revenue streams as well including clothing and bars/club ownership. He has grown his empire with a good combination of Diversification and Development, which is the right way to grow any business in my opinion. In addition, he employs a mixture of short term and long term projects has enabled his empire to keep growing and innovating. If you are always working on larger projects, there will be times when you are bringing anything new to the marketplace. On the flip side, if you are always working on small projects, you will be regularly delivering new thinks to the market, but they may not be significant game changers as you would get with the larger projects. So both approaches have pro’s and con’s, it’s a good idea if you can mix up your business with small and larger projects were possible.

The key to all the things that Jay Z has done and will do in the future is the fact that he has some clear idea of what he wants to achieve in his future and is able to plan for them. This is the secret sauce that enables his business empire continue to grow. He has some good people working for him and their feedback is that he creates a good environment for them to work in, although they know he is the boss and makes the major decisions. I am sure in the future people will look back at Jay Z and think, not only has he had success with his Music, but he has also had a lot of success in his business empire.

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