Kim Kardashian covers Forbes: ‘I became really intrigued with the tech world’

forbes kim k

While I know a lot of people are already rolling their eyes at the sight of Kim Kardashian on the cover of Forbes, just hold on! Because I read Forbes’ cover story and it’s super-interesting. The cover story isn’t really a straight celebrity interview of Kim Kardashian: Businesswoman. It’s more like “How did Kim Kardashian of all people figure out how to profit so enormously from a mobile game and Kimojis?” Like, if the internet is an enigma, Kim has figured it out completely and she’s one of the smartest “branded” celebrities online. I’m not even joking. Kim was really pleased with her cover too – she tweeted: “Such a tremendous honor to be on the cover of @forbes! I never dreamed this would happen& know my Dad would be proud #NotBadForAGirlWithNoTalent.” Well, doesn’t she have a talent? She can’t sing or dance or act, but she’s good at advertising herself and she’s great at branding. It’s a brave new world where those are legit talents to have.

Anyway, you can read Kim’s Forbes cover story here. I found it interesting because they go into the history of how Kim hooked up with Glu Mobile to release the wildly successful Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game, and how involved she is with making sure the game/s are successful. The word Forbes uses is “shrewd.” As in, Kim is a shrewd businesswoman. She’s not afraid to try new things with online content, emojis and games, and she’s great at building successful ventures from the ground up. The KK: Hollywood game “has been downloaded 45 million times and generated $160 million in revenue. Forbes estimates that Kardashian has pocketed $45 million from it over that period. This year she earned $51 million to land at No. 42 on Forbes Celebrity 100 list; 40% of her yearly paycheck came from the game.” Here are some assorted quotes from Kim:

Why she’s doing so much online: “I became really intrigued with the tech world. I started spending a lot of time in San Francisco. I realized this is really going to be the next cycle of my career and this is what I want to focus on.”

When Glu Mobile approached her about doing a game: “I loved videogames, growing up. I remember I asked Kanye, ‘Should I do this?’ He was like, ‘Yes!’ That’s how he got into music, because he wanted to do music for videogames and wanted to create videogames. I was like, ‘I wonder if people are really going to … mimic my life.’ ”

How the game came together: Kris Jenner negotiated a deal that provided Kardashian with a small six-figure-minimum guarantee against, sources say, a whopping 40% cut of revenues, after platform fees. (Glu denies this figure.) Kardashian also had overall editorial approval, spending a year finalizing clothing ideas and okaying each storyline in the game. She signed off on “every single outfit, to the eyeliner, to the hairstyles, to the color tones,” she says, and still does. (“She responds to my texts faster than my own employees,” says Glu Mobile’s de Masi.)

She loves how successful it is: “When I found out what my percentage was, I was, like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ Then I was like, ‘Okay, whatever we’ve got to do to keep this going.’ ”

[From Forbes]

The whole cover story details how Kim keeps up (groan) with Glu Mobile and she sends them story ideas for the game, photos of herself, photos of her clothes (all of which will be used in-game) and more. Kim sounds impressively involved and detail-oriented. Does anyone else wonder if Kim should take over as Kanye’s manager at some point? I bet she could do wonders for his career, just at an organizational level. I’m not even joking.


Photos courtesy of Forbes.

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44 Responses to “Kim Kardashian covers Forbes: ‘I became really intrigued with the tech world’”

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  1. Bettyrose says:

    So, it wasn’t her idea or her work. She just agreed to it and let the $$ roll in. Must be nice.

    • Fee says:

      Exactly, I don’t see any celebrity with perfumes that sell like crazy come out n act like they invented it

    • annaloo. says:

      I think I want her business model. And I hate Kris Jenner, but I’d totally want a manager like her for my career!

      Games are such a huge market, and they are used in all sort of context– from casinos to mobile phone apps to gamification approached to train people for jobs… I can’t stand Kim and her ubiquity, but I have to hand it to her for partnering with a gaming company to create what she did. She does know her audience and her consumer.

      • bettyrose says:

        LOL, yep. I’d love her business model: having more money than I can possibly comprehend, and routinely earning more through investments I barely understand, but feeling a deep sense of confidence that the people who manage/advise me know what they’re doing.

  2. GreenAcres says:

    I kind of like her outfit.

    As much as I cringe when I say this, she is proving to be a successful business woman in this regard. Shrewd seems like a good word for Kim and Kris.

    • MorningCoffee says:

      I agree. I don’t know when I’ve seen her look better! It also sounds like she didn’t do the celebrity thing and just attach her name and wait for the royalties. I like that.

    • Jwoolman says:

      She does look good on this cover. See, Kim? You look fine non-naked!

  3. Fee says:

    My teenager can do this too if she was a celebrity. Who needs an education if you can be involved with like eyeliner n stuff,lol. Guess Forbes needed to sell mags, to all grads who work their ass off in school, this is life, do a porn, get on TV n post naked selfies , sure her dad is super proud.
    FYI, They came to her with the idea

    • honeybee blues says:

      Spot on!

      • Fee says:

        And when did she spent solo much time in San Fran? No pics and she always phoning in paps. The lies these girls spew is crazy cause its so obvious. Shows how like,really like dumb they are. If u cannot even speak proper everyday English, there’s like a problem

    • Jwoolman says:

      Yes, it seems odd that we haven’t seen pap shots of Kim in San Francisco if she’s been spending so much time there. I would expect lots of pics at their facility showing her actually doing some work. I think she is greatly exaggerating what she does, or as usual taking credit for something someone she has hired is doing on her behalf. Kim lies repeatedly about everything, there is no reason to believe this is any different. Can we assume that once again they conducted the interview by e-mail? Doesn’t sound like the way she writes or talks. That means the responses are written by someone else.

  4. D says:

    “How did Kim Kardashian of all people figure out how to profit so enormously from a mobile game and Kimojis?” – Because she hires the right people, her business manager/s should be on the cover.

  5. Trixie says:

    I wouldn’t give Kim much credit for that game. At all. It was not her idea and she did not do any of the coding. Anyone could do her job on that game: pulling photos and overseeing clothes design and storylines.

    • MorningCoffee says:

      But anyone couldn’t do it. Because the whole point is that it is Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. I can’t stand her, but I give credit where credit is due. Who cares if she did the coding? Do you think Steve Jobs did all the work on the iPad?

      • Trixie says:

        Literally anyone could look at photos of Kim Kardashian and oversee game designs of the clothes she wears. All Kim does is oversee what the actual designers have made. Literally anyone could do that.

    • Jen says:

      Exactly-all I’m getting from this is she signed off on allowing Glu to use her name and likeness and then helped with stylistic choices. Glu created and developed the app and Kris Jenner negotiated the deal-where exactly does that show off Kim’s incredible business acumen or talent?

      The Kardashians have always struck me more as “whatever sticks” people when it comes to product partnerships-they’ve put their name on everything, some successful, some not. Sure, they’ve all launched apps but in this day and age, is that so savvy?

    • SM says:

      I agree. Stop selling talentless shit to young people. Forbes just like Vogue are concerned with selling their magazine. And hence the narrative of the tech and business savy Kimey. Because she did make a carrier out of a sex tape and dressing up and putting the make up on and doing selfies. That’s her talents. It’s not her responsibility that we generally live in a society when the key issue is about the means, how to sell things how to brand things and not the actual content that has to be sold. However just because she mastered the ways of how to sell herself with no actual talent or a skill let’s not buy into it and let’s just take it for what it is. I mean what is exactly this game – she sends them photos and closes. Of course she does because that is the only thing she knows and the only thing occupying her head. And she did not figure anything out. Forbes are full of bullshit for saying that. She surrounds her self with profesionals with actual skills. And while I do not game my self I have friends who have developed number of succesful gaming apps. So the gaming in the age of smart phones and apps is figured out, no thanks to profesor Kim. I assume her game is so popular only because there are so many of people who for reasons unknown to me look up to her and follow her.

      • ronaldinhio says:

        I remember watching Madonna talk to her backing dancers and vocalists and telling/asking them to step up.
        She said they were all much better than her and there is a strength in knowing that and in hiring those people anyway. She said they should be fronting the show not her.
        Fact is success takes more than talent and skill.
        The big successes hire the very best. We don’t slag that off generally but feel free to do so when it is a Kardashian.
        She is savvy and opportunistic. I sure she wasn’t the only star approached with ideas like this but she had vision and helped drive it over the line to huge success.
        Talking about her sex tape every time she has another business success seems to say more about us than her.

      • Jwoolman says:

        Ronald- the reason Kim gets flack is because she takes personal credit for things she did not write and did not do. She does not acknowledge the efforts of others that are essential to her success. In this instance, it is virtually certain that the description of what “she” did was written by someone else, quite possibly the person who actually did the work described. Neither the style of writing nor the work itself sound like our Kim. She doesn’t work that hard…

        As others have detailed, Kim herself was not needed. Anyone with access to her photos and wardrobe and having the skills to put it all together could do it. Kim does not actually have those skills herself. She has always relied on others to dress her. She looks awful much of the time now because she lets Kanye dress her. Why would we assume she suddenly became brilliant at such things when we know she didn’t do it herself even pre-Kanye? A woman who really was skilled in the ways of fashion would simply not go out the door looking like she does most of the time, she would figure out a way to soothe the madman she married while dressing well regardless. She doesn’t because she can’t. The business whiz is her mother, who tells her what to do when Kanye isn’t pushing her along.

  6. Mia V. says:

    The Kardashians talent is to make money and they are making it, so they must know a thing or two and we must admit, as much as we loathe them.

    • Jwoolman says:

      Singular, not plural. Demon Mother is the driving force behind the Kardashian money making machine. It will fall apart once she is unable to do that for any reason. Kourtney has some skills in that area, but probably not the drive or interest in promoting the Klan. The daughters are not self-driven and other than Kourtney, they have no innate or acquired business sense.

      Without her mother’s ambitions and abilities, my guess is that Kim might have gravitated toward outright porn work because she seems happiest when naked in front of a camera. She strikes me as in the dull normal intelligence level and easily manipulated, not emotionally mature. Khloe might have continued being a mostly idle rich kid, dabbling in the store run by Kourtney when not getting drunk and drugged. Or perhaps she actually would have gone to college (as her father would have wanted, I’m sure) and learned about the rest of the world and surprised us. The Jenner girls might actually have received an education, too, since their father did, so they would have had other options. Their mother de-railed the education track for them in early high school so they could make a commission for her, and also never got Kylie the help she obviously needed with learning problems, making Kylie feel like a failure in school when she really just needed a different teaching approach. Their mother also let Khloe and Kim drift away from education in mid high school as well, so she always would have been a damaging influence even if she hadn’t figured out how to make her daughters make money for her. But possibly their father would have done more if Demon Mother had stayed more in the background.

  7. Eleonor says:

    Even if I hate to admit this: she is great in advertising herself.

    • Gatita says:

      Did you notice the reference to Kanye giving her advice? I doubt very much that he ever said to her but she always manages to work their relationship into every interview. The relationship is part of the brand and she knows how to keep it front and center.

      • Jwoolman says:

        I doubt she is letting Kanye’s idiotic clothing ideas get anywhere near her image in the game….

  8. Nev says:

    The Kimojis are fun!!!

  9. D says:

    The way she talks about it reminds me of that movie “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”.

  10. Lynnie says:

    What’s the end goal for legitimizing them? They tank magazine sales, (I’m sure Forbes is gonna experience what Vogue went through), this opens the door even more for the so-called clickbaity/celebrity focused articles that journalists/media say are ruining their profession, and it just gives the family another shot of life that they’re going to extend for another 15 minutes. AND NONE OF THEM DO ANYTHING! If anything Kris should be on the cover, because without her this family would never be at this level. Ugh, this is very annoying 😑

  11. mememe says:

    No Kim, I don’t think your dad would be proud to see that his daughter is on the cover of Forbes because she’s selling emoji replicas of her fake ass in a thong.

    Oh and btw, I love the subtle shade of the subtitle : “Anyone with a following can cash in” …

  12. claire says:

    Not surprised they deny the details of the deal. Because it’s probably not true. The Ks lie. That’s what they do. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Most of their ventures bomb and are never heard from again. It’s kinda like when she tried to tell everyone her emoji app crashed the Apple store and Apple came out and straight caller her a liar – that never happened. These people are ridiculous, and no, I’m not gonna give Kim credit as businessperson. More like…a cockroach. Or a virus.

    • Jwoolman says:

      Yes, the K Krew lied big-time about the money they were getting from E! for their contract a while ago. So I don’t think we can assume the details they give about this deal are accurate. It really seems like a bad idea for the developers to give so much away. Sets a very bad precedent for other celebrities they will deal with in future games. So maybe they didn’t.

  13. lucy says:

    Her fake hairpiece looks it.

    Oh, and Forbes fumbled. Def should have put the game designer and biz mgr on the cover. Kim is neither the idea person nor the producer. She is a pawn, who gets a cut of what others produce.

    Stop giving Kardashians money!

    We, as humans, are better than this, right? Something about “false idols” ring a bell?

    • kimberly says:

      WELL SAID!!!
      “She is a pawn, who gets a cut of what others produce.” You are absolutely spot on with this line.
      I cannot believe there are soooo many people that buy their crap but each is their own because I cannot tell ppl how to spend their money even if they are making these famewhores more successful.

  14. swak says:

    All I can say is: Pokemon GO!

  15. Jwoolman says:

    Kim licensed her image to an already successful game and they used existing templates to customize it with images of people in her life and places she frequents. On her stupid show, she got downright angry with Kourtney for not wanting to license her image for the game. So Kim may be feeling the pressure to keep it fresh to prolong its life and this is trying to get everybody into the game (but not at her commission rate, I’m sure). One interesting development is Choupette’s pet human Karl of Chanel joined the game, providing some kind of advance peek at new fashions in a virtual shop or something. That advertising is apparently paying off. A new way to shill products, in the guise of a game.

    Kim did not create the game and she’s delusional if she thinks she’s a tech wizard. She doesn’t need to know anything about the technical end of it. Just as with other Kardashian endeavors, they just lend their name to it and collect the profits. The really clever person was whoever negotiated that astounding commission, if there is any truth to it. I’m sure the developers have made sure that all other expenses have to be paid before Kim gets her kut, though.

    There are many more games now licensing celebrity images the same way. She had better save any money she’s getting from the game, because before long the players will go on to the next one. She’s replaceable.

    The game is free to download if anyone wants to look at it. The money is coming from in-app purchases that let players get ahead in the game much faster and do more things. This is the standard freemium/premium game model. If you don’t pay, you need to wait for your supply of lives or energy or whatever you need to regenerate over a certain time period (can be a few hours or a day). Since Kim especially attracts the young and impatient, that means a lot of money coming their way a few dollars at a time. Usually these games depend on a few whales for the real profits: people who will easily spend hundreds of dollars or even thousands on such a game. The freemium players (who don’t make in-app purchases) function as word of mouth advertising to net more whales. It would be interesting to see if this game’s profits break down a little differently.

  16. stinky says:

    she should wear that skirt EVERY DAY.

  17. me says:

    Companies come to her mother with offers, Kim and her mom simply say “yes” or “no”. They are not the geniuses behind the ideas. Ask Kim one techie question or one question about business. She wouldn’t be able to answer it.

    • cherrypie says:

      I think the article is more about her being a “business woman” as opposed to a techie.

    • Jwoolman says:

      I’d like to hear her in-person (not via e-mail) response if someone just asked her about all the video games she claims she loved as a kid…. What did she play? What game systems? I hadn’t heard before that she played video games as a kid. Does anybody know? Or was this another Kimmie lie?

  18. vespernite says:

    Love the CEO pose! (rolls eyes)

  19. HeyThere! says:

    Gosh I’m going to be that person but Kim and her mom are able to recognize a worthwhile investment when it calls them. They so easily could have said no that’s dumb, but they jumped on it. She can hussle herself like nobody’s business! Not going to lie…if I could put out a few butt shots and make millions, I would! Ha! My son would go to the best college and my husband could retire early. Who wants to see my ass?! Hahah I honeslty can’t believe she made over 50 million in one year doing what she does!!!

  20. Paris says:

    She can’t even spell word “technologies” … God…

  21. magnolia says:

    Done with Forbes, first Jessica Alba, now Kim K. And if you’re gonna be on the freakin cover of Forbes, put on a freakin suit!! Make businessmen take us seriously for chrissakes.