How Ja Rule Is Reinventing Himself as a Tech Entrepreneur
In the 20 years since Ja Rule burst onto the music scene, both he and the world around him have transformed dramatically. Today, Ja Rule is busy reinventing himself as a tech entrepreneur, most notably with his platform Iconn that allows anyone to directly book talent such as musicians to perform at events like Bar Mitzvahs and weddings. This direct connection parallels the change that’s occurred in the broader entertainment and marketing industries, where celebrities and brands provide an abundance of content and access directly to consumers, mainly through social media.
Adapting to this new world has been an adjustment, he says, but he recognizes the need to evolve and sees the value for himself and other celebrities being able to monetize their access.
On the latest episode of Real Talk, which you can see above or on Facebook Watch, I sat down with Ja Rule to discuss his journey to tech, and he shared important lessons on building a successful company and being willing to adapt to change.
Being an entrepreneur has been a roller coaster full of ups and downs, he says, but he believes in the value of Iconn. The platform is essentially a rebranding of the Fyre app, and while the notoriety of Fyre Festival may still follow him, he’s focused on moving on and bringing the booking industry into the modern era.
As an entrepreneur, Ja Rule has also learned some important lessons about what it takes to build a company, and that starts with having a strong team. That’s why his first commandment of business is to "hire extraordinary people,” as he says. “I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the knives all around me will be.”
Similarly, his second commandment is to listen to his employees. These employees were presumably hired because of their skills, so they should be free to share their expertise. In both the music and tech industries, it takes a great team, often working behind the scenes, to create a great finished product or service, so it’s key to prioritize hiring and empowering employees.
Going forward, Ja Rule is focused on growing Iconn and expanding its capabilities, such as allowing people to book athletes for a few minutes of their personal time. For example, if an athlete is already attending a game, they may be willing to spend 15 minutes or so at a suite to chat with fans and sign some autographs. He sees the potential in providing that access and making it clear what celebrities are willing to offer for their time, whether it’s a traditional performance or something a little more outside the box.
For more insights, see the complete interview above or head over to Facebook Watch to follow and be notified when new episodes go live.