I was saddened by the passing of Bernard Tapie, a French businessman, sports club owner, and politician, who had a significant impact on the world of entrepreneurship. Despite his legal issues and time in jail, Tapie was an inspiration for generations of French people due to his ambition, energy, and enthusiasm. Yes, his personality overshadowed even his jail time. And personally, it was Tapie’s dynamism that pierced through my sophomore french at the time and inspired a genre of Pitch- TV shows such as MoneyHunt on PBS, Dragons Den on the BBC, and Shark Tank on ABC. The format of these shows, where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors, was inspired by Tapie’s life and his reputation as a mercurial figure in French entrepreneurship.
Tapie’s interest in entertainment was always a part of his life, starting from his failed music career in the 1960s to his appearance in major films and TV dramas in the 1990s. He was also known for his showmanship and his late career as a showman took off as his empire crumbled. However, despite his successful business ventures, Tapie’s empire evaporated amid a string of legal problems, leading to his time in jail for match fixing, corruption, tax fraud, and misuse of corporate assets. Oh well.
Despite it all, Tapie just kept picking himself back up.
Have to love him for that.