Ye (Kanye) + Ideation Hub + Sneakers

Ye (Kanye) + Ideation Hub + Sneakers


Given our news cycle this is “ancient” history but I was waiting to see if anyone would delve into the ideas Ye (Kanye) presented in the Oval Office a couple of weeks ago.

Unlike most in the media, when I live-streamed the meeting on Periscope, I saw a man in the midst of a creative fire ( a Kundalini experience?) who used Persuasion strategies—including the unforgettable “theater” …something great Persuasion often demands…to outline a series of proposals with a visionary flavor to them.

Of course our puny pundits– so good at stirring the pot but so bad at knowing what’s in it—displayed their usual lack of understanding.

Mesmerized by the “theater” and the on-going attempts of a man to free himself of the prison of the mind—all they could do was dismiss everything Ye said.

His statement about Time not existing? Well Einstein said the same thing with “Time is a persistent illusion.” And don’t self-realized Masters include the idea as a tenet in their teachings?

And who doesn’t want “fly” planes and cars or Stop & Frisk re-considered?

chicago underpass

But the thing that hit me was Ye talking about the Yeezy Ideation Center.

When I heard that….I had a vision of…SNEAKERS and…

A girl in Kazakhstan with SO Side Kicks from Chicago….

A Tunisian boy in the Belleville area of Paris with Blues—sneakers with an indigo cast –from St Louis…

And our son’s friend…researcher during the day…online curator of collectible sneaker designs at night–selling a pair of Hops—with their red-rust soles—out of Milwaukee –to a collector in Japan.

The brands are hypothetical but the potential to make them isn’t.

I can see Ye’s Ideation center established in cities throughout the Midwest with teachers and students working in an immersive environment –bringing sneaker designs to the table—developed in their own communities. It seems like a natural product growing from the communities hosting the creative hubs.


My feeling is they wouldn’t have a hard time selling them– as anything associated with “urban” culture here in the US is enjoying some great momentum here and among youth cultures throughout the world. The movies Get Out and Black Panther are great examples.

The timing for getting a sneaker production ecosystem going in the Midwest couldn’t be better.

This week The Economist in an article entitled The Producers says this about manufacturing in the Midwest:

“ Industrial output is on a tear, and the last few months have seen the best run for growth in manufacturing jobs since the late 1990s.”

 They also say, “Jobs are moving geographically. Since the recovery started, the East North Central region, which includes places like Michigan and Illinois has captured a share of employment gains that exceeds its share of job losses during the recession.”

The magazine contrasts this with the East Coast, which has seen none of the gains in this sense.

Chicago Lake Michigan

With this kind of wind at Ye’s back and his Yeezy brand opening up an office in Chicago –it seems like a perfect time and perfect product to look at producing in an Ideation hub.

The sneaker project’s economies of scale could be positively impacted if Ye would use his persuasive powers on Adidas.

Right now Adidas has a Speed Factory in the Atlanta area. Its AI-driven processes, 3D printing and skilled robotics operators means …design to product…and shipping takes weeks instead of months and only several hundreds workers versus the thousands needed in an Asian factory.

Ye understand the process since his own designs go through it. What if he spoke to Adidas about doing a second Speed Factory in the Midwest?

It could handle both over-runs and special projects for Adidas. It can also manufacture the sneakers developed in Ye’s Ideation hubs. As Jobs said, “Real artists ship.”

All the elements seem to be there. And when you add Ye’s association with the products coming out of the hubs…you’ve got all you need to see the sneakers blow up around the world. If they’re branded in conjunction with Ye I don’t see how they can miss.


Speaking about Brand …and it’s importance in marketing, it’s worth discussing what Ye brings to the table in this area because of the potential he has for doing any number of things….

Including running for President in 2024.

I know what you’re thinking…I’ve lost my mind. But as the last Presidential election proved…we’re in a new era of politics.

Spending the most money doesn’t guarantee you win.

The game has changed. And Ye has two of the most critical things politicians of the future will have to have in order to make a serious run at the highest offices:

Ye has a huge Brand. And he has a huge Social Media presence.

These are currencies with the most clout in today’s political landscape. If he continues to hone his skills in the Art of Persuasion he could be the person to beat if he chooses to run. If the general economic climate holds I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ye throw his hat in the ring. America should be ready to up its visionary prospects for the future by that time.

Dean Balsamo


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