Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


I know one is supposed to think that Kanye West is several verses short of a rap.

One is supposed to gaze upon him and think: "Do you realize quite how bonkers you are?"

Many paint a stark contrast between him and, say, Taylor Swift.

She is so together, so classy, so very perfect.

I can imagine being fooled by such a thought. But Swift is actually a CEO. Her every move feels corporate. Her every utterance feels calculated. It's all a little slick.

Of course, some might aspire to this.

I, though, being of more romantic air, would like you to focus on some of the things that Kanye gets right and that you can only aspire to.

1. He Thinks Big.

You can laugh at the fact that he asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for $1 billion on Twitter. You could also admire the courage it takes to ask Mark Zuckerberg for $1 billion. And do it on Twitter. How many would have had the gumption to do that? And how many would have succeeded in getting it written about by seemingly every medium on earth?

2. He Understands His Brand.

It's amazing how Kanye manages to attract the controversial headlines most when he's got something to sell. It might be his fashion collection. It might be his new album. But he knows that there is so much clutter out there that he needs to break through. So he's constructed a brand -- one that involves a healthy amount of egotism, to be sure -- that manages to gain publicity time and time again. How many other brands achieve that?

3. He's Genuinely Creative.

How many CEOs think that they should do more or less the same thing over and over again and get away with it? How many believe that they can just maintain a business and reap the benefits of their well-negotiated packages? Kanye doesn't copy himself. He tries to do something different. He tries to push barriers. Yes, he occasionally disappears down strange cul-de-sacs, but at least he's searching.

4. He Fights For What He Believes In.

You might not like what Kanye believes in. You might believe that he believes only in Kanye. But he still professes some sort of ethos, one that gets him into trouble on occasion (often). He fights for his talent. He even fights paparazzi. He believes in (his own version of) integrity. You might contrast this with many CEOs who believe in nothing other than their bonuses. They don't care about their products. They don't care about their employees. They just want their lucre. By contrast, Kanye actually takes his album off the market, so that he can perfect it. How many CEOs would dare do that?

5. He Apologizes For His Mistakes.

Oh, he might call himself Yeezus. But he's humble enough to at least admit that his ego gets in the way. How many CEOs admit that they've perpetrated acts of cluelessness? How many would confess to the size of their egos? How many would ever apologize unless their lawyers begged them to do it? Decry Kanye all you will (and you will), but give the man a little credit and take from him what's good. There is good. A lot of good.