How Renaissance Man Diddy Built His Success On One Motto: 'I Do My Own Thing'
When you take a minute to sit back and think about the latest exploits of Sean "Diddy" Combs, the man who once was just a kid walking from job to job talking to himself about his dreams, there are really no words that can capture how perfect of a business move the creation of the new all-music channel Revolt TV is.
During a period in which MTV's name continues to become more of a historical reference than an accurate description of the channel, and as the network's awkward programing scheduling begs an obvious question ("do we really need more Snooki and Jwoww?"), Diddy comes along and provides a solution.
"Why can't we have more music on television?"
“I saw the opportunity that there was no ESPN of music so Revolt would be that, it would be the number one name in music," Combs told Bloomberg's Stephanie Ruhle, before going on to assure fans that Revolt will be able to compete with big networks despite having less funds. "...No, we will not have those deep pockets, we are a startup. But we will have what they don’t have, which is the music credibility.”
The timing of Revolt's debut seems so impeccable and the model, with plans to feature "TRL" stye VJs, is so brilliantly tinged with nostalgia that it brings this observer back.
There really are no words that can capture how perfect of a business move this is. That is, until you examine the proprietor's resume, and then the sense of surprise is bound dampen. After all, Diddy has always made his mark by taking what the competition has done, tweaking it, and making it his own.
When clothing brands with roots deeply entrenched in hip hop culture were "the thing," Combs' Sean John outlasted them all, a fact that couldn't be made any more apparent than by the brand's purchase of long-time competitor Enyce in 2008. When 50 Cent was breaking the bank with a Vitamin Water deal, Diddy signed his own with Diageo's Ciroc Vodka, a revenue sharing agreement that has helped carry him to a $580 net worth valuation by Forbes.
Whatever way you slice it, from his days of building up Bad Boy Entertainment, to being the face of hit show "Making The Band," to yesterday's debut of Revolt TV (which will look to put the likes of competitors VH1, BET and Fuse to shame), Diddy has a history of manifesting an entrepreneurial genius in a way that has always overshadowed what was once considered the best.
He is a Renaissance man that has pulled his weight at every notable corner-- except, oddly enough, when it comes to sports, an area the three-time Grammy has yet to even sniff.
“You know, when I get the calls saying ‘well we need to do Bad Boy Sports’ I’m like no that’s not my lane," he told Ruhle. "I stay in my lane.”
When it comes to his friend and No. 2 on Forbes hip hop money list Jay Z, Diddy has rarely felt the need to compete Mr. Carter. But if you think "staying in his lane" means shying away from an opportunity to one-up the only artist that could realistically go toe-to-toe with Combs, in a business sense, you've got the wrong idea.
“I love sports, but I’m more of an owner type of guy I have aspirations to become – which it will happen – I will become the NFL’s first African-American majority owner, not having a small stake but actually owning an NFL team.”
It's only right that the man who's made a living out of taking things he's admired and perfecting them would one day have the power of running his own sporting franchise. And it's only right that he talks about it with such certainty. It will indeed happen, if his past and persona are anything to judge by.
And when (do we really need to ask if?) it does come to pass, it will likely be done in a way that adds a touch of disruption, a little revolution and a bit of, shall we say, Revolt. After all, Diddy knows no other way.
“I’m just me, I do my own thing.”
For the first three days of programming, in addition to airing for Time Warner and Comcast customers, Revolt will be streaming live from Revolt.Tv from October 21 to 23.
Photo credit: WENN