will.i.am thinks Karl Lagerfeld perfectly illustrates that competition is healthy.
As well as music, 40-year-old will has also branched out into fashion and technology. His company i.am+ is getting ready to launch its take on the smartwatch, called the smartband. will welcomes comparisons to Apple, as he's a massive fan and supporter of the tech giant. However, he believes there's room for more than one watch.
"Does that mean we're not supposed to dream up a design that's similar to something that they're doing?" he mused to Entrepreneur. "I think what we're going to build is different from what they're going to build. And because you're putting it on your body, I think you're supposed to serve up options to the public.
"Imagine if freakin' Gucci was like, 'We're not going to make shoes because Louis Vuitton makes shoes.’ Karl Lagerfeld will tell you, 'Not only do I design for Fendi, I also design for Coco Chanel, and I also have my own line.' The same motherf**ker's making clothes that compete with his other clothes! That shows what the world is really like."
will may be savvy when it comes to business now, but that there was a time when he was clueless about the marketing side of things. However his work with agencies like Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam changed all that.
"I didn't know what a brand was," he admitted. "'You mean you guys got a brand bible? What the hell?! You mean everything's thought out? Aw, hell no! Don't tell me that!' From there Black Eyed Peas changed. I treated it like a company. You don't accidently become relevant in damn near every country on the planet."