The JayZconomics School of Thought

Jayz might be the most underrated economic Professor, people listen to his music moving their heads and focusing on the nice beat.

“Please don’t categorize [Jayz] as music”

“No Hook”, American Gangster

JayZ is definitely more than music, he has been communicating that several times in the past, and in Drake’s last album “Certified Lover Boy”, Jayz does a featuring where he uses a sentence that is so important in business. It is so important that he even repeats the sentence twice:

“[I don’t want friends no more, Not many understand me/Everybody wants something] You know the price of everything and the value of nothing”. 

“Love All”, Certified Lover Boy

I have heard this sentence from Warren Buffet about 2 years ago. When I heard “Price is what you pay, Value is what you get”, I had to repeat it in my head several times for several days. This quote is attributed to Warren Buffet. This is such an important aspect of doing business that we don’t learn in school.

The business school approach

We learn the concept of running a live business in business school by understanding the general tools such as business plan, profit and loss statement, the business model engineering, which are mostly short term view and mostly geared to the consumable business but don’t necessarily help you understand the activity a business person is running from a philosophical and an identity point of view. Identification of value is difficult to pinpoint, as a company is not simply defined by its bottom line, it has a societal responsibility.

The concept of Value is subjective and relates to the way one sees the world. The exact definition is “relative worth, utility, or importance”(Source)

Values put the business activity in perspective, money and revenue generation is one of the dimensions to the business, but to make a business decision, the approach needs to be pluri-dimensional and it is necessary to take decisions not just from a balance sheet perspective, or we would miss the non-economic point of view.

Everything in Business is not about Business and Money.

JayZ presents an additional complexity that people tend to learn later. In the process of learning, unlearning & relearning, we need to think on our feet and understand that the decisions we take (and not take) have consequences.

Real Life Exemple

Real Life exemple 1: Client asking for low prices

A major company wanted to buy our services at a high priced number. This high-priced number was not enough in our assessment of the value that we were bringing to the client. We decided to not move forward with this business that would have distracted our teams, impacted our production too significantly, and also send a bad signal to the market positioning us at a price point that was too low. All businesses are not good businesses to take.

Real Life exemple 2: Overpaid salary

Another example is the salary being paid by a company, this is only one aspect of remuneration, it needs to be balanced with the learning experience and the quality of leadership. No one should stagnate under a bad and fearful leader, even for a high pay-check. From the supply and demand standpoint, having an overpaid job beyond the real value you provide creates a strong liability and risk for you in case you get let go.

Real Life exemple 3: Hiring a premium assistant

This last exemple is about a business person not wanting to invest on hiring a premium personal assistant. Having a team of top performers and skilled assistant push a leader to manage time properly and also remove all the friction and elements that could be used to justify poor performance. Top assistants can have a high price, but the value they provide to the activity go beyond their unit number.

In Conclusion 

The concept of value in business and leadership brings dimension to the execution of business, similar to what perspective brings to paintings. I would gladly claim myself from the JayZeconomics school of thought that lives with the free-market economists that believe that the preservation of the world resources as a unit of production and the absence of coercive central authorities (that create an unbalance and encourages access to lobbies and leads to unfair advantages) are a way to move the market forward.

This JayZeconomics school of thought is adopted by several rap movements such as the « Buy back the Block » movement.

If you want to save yourself 2 years of business experience, watch the movie, listen, and understand the album « American Gangster », you will learn about supply chain management, leadership, ownership, unique selling proposition, branding, management of risks. 

Take some height to transcribe the approach to your own legal industry, apply it to an insurance activity, sport management approach, retail activity, and get ahead of your business. I am of course not encouraging any unlawful activity. I always encouraging benchmarking.