Startup Blog

Why Rapper 50 Cent is Smarter Than Most Fortune 500 CEOs

Posted by Mike Volpe on 3/30/08 7:20 PM

I have always been a big proponent of businesses following entertainers to catch onto new trends in marketing, and I have written some blog articles in the past about the marketing lessons you can learn from rappers and B2B marketing tips from rappers.

Recently, I saw another article on Yahoo showing that 50 Cent has created his own social network, mostly because even though he had a huge success on MySpace, he is unable to get access to the users email addresses or other personal information.

What I find funny about this is not only that 50 Cent has a million fans on MySpace and has also built his own social network, but that he clearly spends a lot of time thinking about his fan base as a strategic asset and how to best manage, grow and monetize that asset.   How many Fortune 500 CEOs think like that?  Very few I'd say.  I think they are still stuck in the world of building new products and sales promotions and channel strategies.  As consumers get more and more control of how they consumer information, I really believe that companies will success or fail based on how they cultivate and enable their biggest fans to communicate with others in the market.  The tools you should be using are blogs, social networks and your own product development.  You can pretty much stop advertising over the next 10-15 years I think.

50 Cent Launches His Own Social Network - What does this mean?

  1. 50 Cent has decided that access to his fan's personal info is worth the time and expense of launching his own social network.  This is a very strategic decision.
  2. It is pretty easy to launch a social network today.  The hard part is getting members - not a problem for a famous rapper.  You should think about what your social network strategy should be.
  3. If social networks like MySpace and Facebook want very famous people (politicians, entertainers, etc.) to use their network, they might have to create some better capabilities for these people to access personal information of their friends/fans/supporters.

It will be interesting to see over time how this battle plays out.  If 50 Cent(or other very popular people) are not on Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace, that decreases the value of these networks to everyone else.  Will the networks make concessions to the famous people?  Will the famous people decide it is OK to lose some control and information access in exchange for a broader audience of people?

Mike Volpe

Written by Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a startup advisor and angel investor based in Boston.

Topics: social media

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