Daymond John Interview

 - Feb 25, 2010
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Daymond John is an entrepreneur that can look failure straight in the face and not back down. As the CEO of former hip-hop label FUBU (For Us, By Us), Daymond John is no stranger to the world of fashion.

Daymond is currently starring as a judge and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, a reality show that allows entrepreneurs to compete for a hefty investment from one of the 5 ‘sharks.’ Daymond is also the author of ‘The Brand Within,’ a book to empower businesses and entrepreneurs.

With his latest fashion endeavor (FB) underway, Daymond John is sure to take the world by storm, a second time.

3 Questions With Daymond John

1. How do you keep your work on the cutting edge?

The most important step of keeping my work on the cutting edge is to not have thin skin, step outside of the situation and look at my product as a consumer would. This can be applied to everything from fashion to branding to speaking engagements. We often get lost in what we want to give or show to the consumer and not what the consumer really wants to see. One of the most effective ways is to ask kids their opinions. Kids and young adults are extremely passionate about there beliefs as new consumers who create a lot of the new current trends and movements. At my office, I value the opinion of all from the lowest position to the highest position. Also, with the recent addition of You Tube, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and a host of many other social media outlets, it’s very clear to see cutting edge trends as soon as they emerge. Not only can you monitor the trends, but you can see the numbers, ages, genders, races and all other demographics of who are onto the new trend, or better yet, who may not support it.

2. How do you reset yourself to become creative? Do you have any rituals?

The best way I reset myself to be creative is to change up my normal everyday action and schedule. Often it’s taking a trip to a different country with a person that I don’t normally get to hang with that have different interests. When getting to that country or countries, get a taste of their local cultures and learn something new, then go check out their normal night life, shop and also find that thing to do there that takes me away from the crowds and gives me the time to reflect. The results become global insight, time alone to reflect, and well rested. By the time I get back to work, I’m full of energy and excited with all the new ideas I’ve developed.

3. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?

A perfect example of a time that I threw away an existing idea is when we considered bringing FUBU back to the United States 6 years ago. The name we decided on was called F Evolution. We worked for a year on the project, for various reasons, we didn’t feel in-house that the line and the new mission statement was strong enough to move forward. So we abandoned the relaunch to the United States.  It then took us 5 years after that decision to decide to develop a new direction and feel confident enough to reintroduce our new "FB" back to the market.

Daymond John’s ‘A Brand Within’ will hit stores on March 23rd. For more from Daymond, check him out at