Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ipods, Jay-Z, and Ecological Carrying Capacity

I've got a confession; my life's neverending quest is to be the black James Burke. In that same vein, Fast Company magazine is nicely filling a role as content provider for this dream o'mine, much like a corner-boy to his crackhead. The August issue caught my attention not simply because it appears in my mailbox (all for 83% off the newstand price), but moreso because of the appletree on page 21. Now FC is a business magazine, but I swear these folks are much smarter than your typical corporate worker bees. The essay "In Praise of Ecosystems" (access code: FCAUGUSTHR) by John J. Sviokla is a brilliantly executed piece on "economic ecosystems," most notably the one established by Apple with the introduction of their now-ubiquitous Ipod mp3 players. To summarise-though they had a good run, the Ipod will soon be overtaken by another player from another company. "But remember it was the [internet] ecosystem-- not the market leaders--that radically expanded the [internet] market" writes Sviolka. So there is indeed a chance for the other guys.

How exciting. Here's a management consultant speaking in ecological terms on human consumption and buying characteristics. The model presented applies to lots of markets: cell phones, computers, automobiles, television, the energy sector, hip-hop. Which brings us to Jay-Z, Hovah, Shawn Carter, Jigga, The King of New York. Sir Carter has radically changed the dynamics of the hip-hop market ecosystem, though he wasn't the originator of that universe, the "god" if you will (despite the moniker). That distinction probably belongs to none other than Sean "Puffy" Combs. Some might argue Russell Simmons but...whatever. Jay is about to open a new branch of his supersmoove but fantastically overpriced sports bar The 40/40 Club, just below Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City. On a corner lot, on the main strip. Talk about making moves. The man has a multitude of certifiable hip-hop classics to his name, along with a burgeoning business empire. He was driven to be the best and for all intents and purposes, has accomplished that goal.

Yes, I can concede that Diddy et. al. have made plenty of waves, like beating out Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren as the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Men's Designer of the Year (I even bought a Sean John suit from Macy's; it's slick I tellya). Honestly though, Jay-Z and the Roc-A-Fella fam' have surpassed all expectations. They even spawned a new generation of prep-rap-wannabees looking to Kanye West for inspiration. (Remember, blood diamonds are forever). I think Jay even inspired TI to don a suit, albeit with the perennial Air Force 1's and Adebisi'd Falcons cap. Regardless, he's already changing the ecosystem, and if he heeds a certain writer's advice to partner with Dick Cheney and Halliburton to invest in electricity transmission lines...well the convergence will be completed.

That said, check out excerpts of my favorite book of alltime (which I've yet to read in its entirety, but yeah)...William Catton Jr.'s "Overshoot." I've never seen the relation of the stock market crash of 1929, the role of resources in Germany's loss in WWII, our current real estate bubble, and the necessity of fertilizer to Midwestern sugar beets and homeland security explained so well. Easy to follow it's not, but what great literary masterwork do you really get on the first try? Additionally, I'd like you to take a look at the shady backroom deals happening with our wonderful Energy Bill...this is so insane all I can do is laugh and shake my head.

And can someone in the know forward this message to Mr. Z? Thanks.

3 Comments:

Blogger Dynamite Soul said...

LOL @ Adebisi'd.
I am SO stealing that!

Sudani from OKP

peace

1:41 AM  
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