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Fyre Festival: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn

January 22, 2019



I watched the Netflix documentary “FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” and it made me sick to my stomach. I think it’s critical after watching something like that that we ask ourselves how we can learn from it. The lessons learned from Fyre Festival can benefit many of us particularly those who are self-employed, those who are working to grow a company and business owners who interact with the audience and influencers.

Mistakes are going to happen, and we’re going to make mistake ourselves and we’re going to see other people make mistakes, but the most important thing is to learn from these mistakes to avoid them in the future. Here are four different aspects or lessons learned from the Fyre festival experience.

1. Integrity

It can be very tempting when you have access to a lot of money, and you don’t have the necessary self-control or guardrails set up for yourself. You maybe be tempted to violate your own integrity. The first instance we see a loss of integrity when they had an agreement about the island, and they are not allowed to say that this is Pablo Escobar’s island and the first thing they do is announce the Fyre festival on Pablo Escobar’s island. So lesson learned here is; sometimes in business, you’re going to have to say no to great opportunities, such as posting this incredible post, to protect your business’s integrity

Also, transparency was a major issue, obviously, Fyre festival’s organizers were not transparent with their team, their audience or the investors, and that was terrible because they believed in him and his vision

2. Communication

In business we’re all going to make mistakes, things may not work out as planned or you may have a competitor that squeezes in. Sometimes this makes things difficult and we end up making bad business decisions but being a business owner, you must be prepared for crisis. Crisis management 101; you’ll need to imagine what are all the bad things that could happen and plan ahead of time and you need to make all your decisions on a rational and logical basis rather than just responding to problems when they emerge one by one and emotions are high.

The next thing in communication is you need to surround yourself with smart people and you need to listen. So, for example, at UpMyInfuence I count on my team to let me know what’s going on because they are in the trenches and I can’t see what they see. As you become a leader and you build a larger organization you can’t be everywhere and you need to have a proper communication system with your team to let you know when things are about to hit the fan.

At UpMyInfluence we believe that every person has a message that can possibly impact the world so our mission is to help thoughtful entrepreneurs and turn them into media celebrities so we could increase their authority, their influence and ultimately their revenue and if I'm getting in the way of that in some way I need my team to let me know what I could be doing to improve.

3. Influence

Let me speak to influencers; You MUST use your powers of influence for good. We might get really tempted by a good paycheck, but you’ve to realize that you’re only as good as your last mistake. So for example at Savings Angel, we have the opportunity to work with a lot of brands and we have to do our due diligence because if we recommend a product or service and it turns out to be scammy, our audience is either going to let us know about it or they're just going to leave and we can't afford to do that because this reflects the very bad image to our brand which we spent years to build.

It might have been hard for the influencers and the supermodels, involved in promoting the Fyre Festival, to see through all the smoke and mirrors and all the false promises but they had to realize that they had aligned their personal brands with Fyre festival which affected their credibility and they should have distanced themselves and apologized to their audience. And as long as you’re honest, transparent and authentic with your audience they can forgive you.

4. Skepticism

This is mainly for consumers; I do have a heart for people who are being led by marketing and influencers. As a consumer advocate, I want you to question everything and avoid feeding the hype. If we take Black Friday as an example, we will see that everyone buys because of emotion and then we justify it with logical reasons. If I am buying a ticket to Fyre festival and it sounds like it’s gonna be an amazing party and I don’t want to miss that, but I should ask myself “Can I do a just a little bit of due diligence on this” maybe this would have led to finding one of the red flags.


This was just my own observations after watching the Netflix version of the Fyre Festival. Please feel free to check the video above and leave your comments.

Watch the video above to hear my thoughts and keep an eye out for my upcoming YouTube live videos. 




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