What’s in Common Between Jay-Z and Mark Zuckerberg?

Posted by Anthony Worku
(@Anthony Worku)

So, what do the two sides of this One City have in common? For starters, they are communities that both thrive on a powerful brew of courage, vision, grit and common sense. The mindset and personality traits it takes to flourish in both environments are remarkably similar.. After all, they are both remarkably “human” institutions which operate under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Urban America is an entrepreneurial university that is home to the most unconventional entrepreneurs of our generation, such as JayZ and Dr. Dre. In a strikingly similar fashion, Silicon Valley has produced a proven stream of tech successes that thrive in the world of uncertainty and unorthodoxy, from Steve Jobs to Zuckerberg and Uber Founder Travis Kalanick. In both Urban America and Silicon Valley, successful businesses are formed by understanding pain points of their target markets, and creating a product or service that becomes a viable venture.

The root of this startup model is the knowledge and knowhow necessary to locate and utilize customer pain points. This root can be traced back to two respective places: elite universities; and the streets of Urban America, the proverbial “School of Hard Knox”.

They both used their intricate knowledge of customer pain points to generate entrepreneurial success. They are both innovators with tunnel vision. Both made NOT a little bit of money (filthy rich!!). And they both had a chip on their shoulders. After all, they are both classic #InsiderOutsiders. From an entrepreneurial point of view, they refused to be defined by the insider culture of their respective institutions JayZ did not want to be a victim to urban poverty that would lead to him becoming just another statistic, while Zuckerberg did not want to be a victim to the complacency of elitism that would lead to a 95 corporate job.

Both founded and ran successful startup Juggernauts. They both exhibited tenacity. They have a welltamed killer instinct and are not afraid to fail. They are huge risk takers, not afraid to drop out of school or move away from their comfort zones in pursuit of a vision (classic #InsiderOutsiders). Success was not given to them. They both came up in a world where they had to use whatever skills they had to come out of the shadow of these big institutions one is the looming halls of harvard elites, the other one dark Brooklyn streets. More in common than you thought, huh?!