The 5 months prior to March 4, 2019, I was focused on perspective. I took a step back from what I was doing to understand who I was, what I wanted to do and what was practical in terms of business and earning a living.
The penny dropped after I watched a show on Netflix called “Fyre Festival”. I was sitting on my patio and I theorized that sales had very little to do with products. Rather, it had everything to do with the awareness brought about by telling stories first that added value to others, then executing.
In Fyre’s case, they couldn’t execute, but had it not been for how black and white the separation of story and product was, I probably wouldn’t have been on the path I am now on.
The next day, as if serendipitously, as I was driving to work and listening to 2pac, I heard the words: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
Ducorp got its direction as a result of that reflexion. More, there was a realization that we were living in very different context than just 15 years ago, and that hip hop was the cultural phenomenon of our time.
Indeed, we live in “street” culture undertones today. The Internet is a truth machine destroying the fake that could previously be papered over. Truth First and F*** Fake is a philosophy we live by. This became the foundation of our business and the barrier to entry to compete with us. See to live and express truth you can’t fake it. You have to be it.
(a) commercialization today is tied to branding more so than selling. In order to do “brand”, you can either take the “creative” or “documentary” path. In the creative process, you create a message that resonates with your target, whereas for documentaries you communicate content about who you are;
(b) the sales process is changing, where brand is the driver of choosing a product or service. Brand is built around offering more value than you get back in return (that is, to some degree giving with no expectations of return) and authenticity. In a world where everyone seems to be pretending, truth shines;
(c) attention is shifting rapidly due to the decentralization process attacking its previous gatekeepers. The polished appearance produced by the PR spin masters of the past is collapsing against the truth machine that is the internet. This leads to societal unrest and business margins dropping;
(d) Mobile phones have become the newest organs of the human body. This means that we are hyper connected to each other today in a way that is very different from even 20 years ago. Social connections are mostly virtual today and we have to accept this. The nostalgia of face to face relationships should not be put on a pedestal compared to the virtual communications if you are to grab the opportunities of today. I often wonder how the horse rider of the 1900s would feel if they had to travel in a modern car: would he or she cry for humanity witnessing how the car shields them from hearing the sounds of nature, sun on the face, and appreciating the surroundings?;
(e) It is not inconceivable that in the future mobile phones are implanted in the body, and to the casual observer from our time, that it would look like the human race had acquired the capabilities of telepathy;
(f) In that world, content volume as opposed to quality is key. Volume allows others to touch your content several times, and then when one particular aspect resonates, to drill into the funnel and discover you. This awareness is critical in commercialization and being competitive in business today;
(g) Documenting is orders of magnitude faster than creating. Truth is the ingredient that makes that content unique.
Documenting Our Journey
Documenting and sharing our journey in building Ducorp is itself a major part of our business. This documenting process allows others to get acquainted with us, and maybe learn from our journey. In this process, we have structured our business evolution in chapters, much like a book whereby:
The title is Building Ducorp.
Our growth stages starting with (1) Geronimo, (2) Atlas, (3) Trident (and more to come), are like chapters of a book.
The businesses we’re building in our venture studio are like plots (Satoshi’s Lounge, Shoppers Club, FindRate etc.) that we want to be successful.
Our people are its protagonist.
The ROI is proving our thesis and and building communities. We then listen and help others, and if the market judges us as good enough, then we get paid for our work. We are fiercely practical in this process.
By James Duchenne.
First posted in X-Team Ventures.