Since NY Report last spoke with Gary Vaynerchuk in April 2009, the co-owner of Wine Library in Springfield, NJ, host of Wine Library TV and social media celebrity, his first book was published and he’s gotten his hands into a few other business opportunities as well. Executive editor Daria Meoli spoke with Vaynerchuk about Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion and his other endeavors.
Daria Meoli: Why is now is the time to cash in on your passion?
Gary Vaynerchuk: Because the Internet’s maturing; it’s fifty years old. For the last few years, word of mouth has been accelerated by things like Twitter and Facebook. Now, not only is creating and distributing content free, but marketing it can be free as well, as long as you’re patient. The fact that you can advertise with interaction instead of with dollars is game changing.
DM: You Tweeted about your book while you were still writing it. What was the benefit of doing so and what is the reaction you received?
GV: It’s fun for me to talk about things that I’m living. I also think way too many authors don’t work hard enough. They think when the writing is done, it’s over. I actually think when the writing is done, it begins, and so I want to kind of articulate that. We’re living in a very different age where one article or one TV spot is just not enough to get the word out.
DM: For Wine Library TV and the book, you are your brand. But you’ve been getting involved in more behind the scene roles with businesses like Obsessed TV and SimpleGeo. What led to the decision to go in that direction?
GV: SimpleGeo, Gowalla and DailyBooth are all companies I’ve recently invested in. My brother AJ and I started VaynerMedia, which is a consulting company. Those are avenues for me to scratch my entrepreneurial itch and take on different roles. For example, for Cork’d, my wine social network, I hired a CEO, but I’m very involved. With SimpleGeo or Gowalla, I’m there for the advisory board meetings and I’m available if they need me, but it’s not really day-to-day. I’ve also launched Gourmet Library, which is a gourmet food site that compliments the wine business, and Cinderella Wine, which is like a Gilt Groupe for wine. Just like Cork’d, there are other people running these businesses, but they’re all things I want to put more of my own DNA into, just because I trust myself. I’ve been successful, and I know what I’m doing.
DM: If you put your social media expert hat on for this next question, what is the next platform that will be game changing in the way that brands get their message out there?
GV: Mobile. I think mobile’s going to absolutely explode in our society. I think the next 24 to 36 months, mobile is going to be earth shattering for brands. I don’t think you can be a brand or an active business in 2011, without an iPhone, an Android and a BlackBerry app.
Daria Meoli is the Executive Editor at The New York Enterprise Report. She can be reached at email@example.com