TL;DR: They’re an international phenomenon, often accused of being famous for being famous. Derided and overlooked, the Kardashian family’s entrepreneurial business acumen is nearly unmatched in the digital age. Billionaires several times over, depending on who is counting, their success spans entertainment, fashion, cosmetics, social media, and beyond. There’s a lot Bitcoiners can learn from a groundbreaking group of women who literally changed the culture.
Bitcoiners Should Keep Up with the Kardashian Model
By now, even the hoodie-wearing, cargo shorts-sporting nerds who lurk around cryptocurrency message boards can name a decent chunk of the Kardashian clan. Made up of a matriarch, Kris Jenner, father/stepfather Caitlyn Jenner, sisters Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian West, Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, and lesser-known brother Rob Kardashian, they’ve dominated the reality television genre for more than a decade.
The family had a few advantages thanks to Kris’ marrying well. Her first husband, from which the Kardashian name comes, was himself famous as an attorney, and her second husband, of course, was Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner. It’s not like Kris and her kids started from nothing. However, considering where they’ve gone since, by any number of metrics their success is breathtaking. Kris began her working life as a flight attendant, and decades later now in her early 60s has a reported personal net worth of $90 million. That’s just the mother.
Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the current crop, 22, is widely celebrated as one of the fastest self-made billionaires in history. Her cosmetics line alone is a powerhouse in the industry, coveted by women of all ages. Kendall, 24, her slightly older sister, is the highest-paid supermodel in the world. And we’ve not even tabulated the wealth of best-known Kardashian, Kim. Laugh and scoff all you want, but these women have built fortunes seemingly with no discernible talent. Or, better put, they probably saw unconventional avenues few recognized, took those paths, and worked with what they had.
Bucking Trends, Creating Trends
Kardashians weren’t going to light up the philosophical world with a mind-bending tome. There doesn’t seem to be a science Nobel Laureate in the bunch. It’s doubtful they’ve read Mises or Rothbard to gain a better understanding of human action or economics. So how’d they do it? A combination of luck, for sure, but taking opportunities when they arose, investing in the brand, knowing what they’re good at, and being fearless are traits Bitcoiners would do well to emulate.
Prior to the Kardashians, the female form, for example, was headed toward a muscular, gaunt, almost mannish popular aesthetic. The Rubenesque woman’s body was something of a bygone look, left in the ashes of when Marilyn Monroe graced tabloids. It’s safe to write Kim Kardashian turned the aerobic waif, that drugged-out chic look, on its head. She’s busty, hippy, and her famous buttocks are a global sensation.
Kim didn’t fit the Paris runway mold. She was considered by tastemakers to be fat, short, and unhealthy in appearance. Evidently, many heterosexual men felt otherwise. Kim, of course, became a premier sex symbol, and ushered in an entirely new beauty class for the 21st century. She also dated outside of her ethnicity. Notoriously, she and her sisters have a penchant for African American men. While hardly anyone bats an eye at the pairings these days, back when Kim ran around with famous Black rap stars and athletes … that simply wasn’t done so outwardly by famous women.
Facing Problems Head-On
The Kardashian mixed-race family pictures nowadays are a kind of American royalty portrait, as odd as that might read. The revolutionary nature of liking what you like, without apology or compromise, struck a nerve with the broader culture. It wasn’t an easy road for the family, as pornographic videos emerged, scandals, affairs, divorces, and very public troubles seemed to follow them, dog them a lot.
They became, and in some cases remain, punchlines for standup comedians and snobs. But on the family pressed, keeping true to where they excelled, often using the dramatic unfolding of bad news as fodder for their television program. What’s interesting about that model isn’t that they failed, but how they worked through it in a transparent way, allowing fans to watch. It might’ve endeared those interested in the family to observe such stress and perseverance.
Public opinion, by the way, on any official level, throughout the Kardashian ascendency, has been to assign the family’s fame and celebrity as a symptom of the worst society has to offer. Kardashians are the problem, it’s easy to say and find anywhere. And yet they not only shoved such hatred to the side, the Kardashians fed on it, thrived even.
Five Takeaways for Peer-to-Peer Cash Enthusiasts
Part of their success is finding ways to hack around polite society. The Kardashians took a chance on E! Entertainment Television, which at the time was struggling to find its feet. It had some hits, but nothing anchoring. The Kardashians made it into a powerhouse network, and the two grew together. The family also sought out then-less traditional media, the burgeoning channels free to them such as Facebook and Instagram.
This allowed those who wanted to follow the family an avenue by which they could do so without legacy minders. The family spoke directly to their audience, no filter, no gatekeeper. No doubt, some folks followed out of a morbid sense of curiosity while others allowed themselves a guilty pleasure. But the audience grew and grew into the hundreds of millions and across many platforms.
It turns out, to set a culture on fire, if we’re to use the Kardashian model such divined above means: 1, head in the direction few are looking; 2, stick to the brand’s strengths, stay “on brand” as the family is fond of repeating; 3, admit to failures, show worts and all to develop a sense of trust with those interested in your work; 4, boldness pays off in the longer run — what conventional society says is wrong is often wrong, so believe in the brand and its purpose; and 5, use every means available to get your message out there as close as possible to those who might use or need your product. Bitcoiners can learn a lot from the Kardashians.
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