Review of Gary Vaynerchuk’s presentation at Web Summit 2013

In his short yet empowering presentation Gary Vaynerchuk , New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author / / Self-taught wine expert // Innovator, talks about marketing and what it means being real entrepreneur. This presentation is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea and I had to take out the “F word” quite a lot, but it was a hell of a speech I must confess.  His presentation is a mix of common sense and genuine passion for what he does – entrepreneurship in the best sense of it.

To get acquainted Gary devotes few min of his presentation to his bio. He was born in Belarus, came to the States when he was 3. His family lived an immigrant lifestyle sharing studio apartment with 9 other members. His parents spoke no English but his dad managed to become a manager of the liquor store in NJ and the family moved there from Queens, NY.  As Gary was born with entrepreneurial spirit and started his first venture when he was 5 when he created lemonade franchise that he drove around. At the age of 12 he started his real business which was selling baseball and sport cards in the malls of NJ and he was making $2-3k per weekend: “Being a 13 year old kind and having $30K under your bed, and you are not selling weed – you are doing a good job”, says Gary.

At the age of 16 he fell in love with wine and it became his passion, he realized people collected wine the way he collected baseball and sports cards. As Gary calls it “being at the back of innovation” turned his family 3-million business into 40-million business.  When 1994 came along and AOL charged $4 a min for Internet, he realized that he would be able to sell wine through “that” thing.  So in 1996 he launched his first site “Winelibrary.com”

“Most people are marketing and building products like its 2009”, Gary said. By this he meant that marketers are not using social media opportunities at the fullest. We tell stories about the products as if we are not living now, but 4 years ago. We need to go, test and learn.

He continues the story how he bought the word “wine” on Google, when it was 5 cents a keyword, and owned it and had the first result for 9 months before his competitors competed against him. That what means being at the back of innovation.  A lot of people doubt innovation and how it is difficult to map the ROI of innovation, but of you are not going to take that leap you are not going to figure it out.

If you are a marketer, start up, business person and you are not spending a considerable amount of your time on twitter/search trying to find out the end thoughts of your consumer that means  you are losing.

And then he really grills it down: “Do you know how lucky we are to be born in the Internet era? The Internet is the biggest culture shift of our time. We are talking about a platform that is less than 20 years old and it has the biggest shift and social impact of our time. The internet has changed society. We grossly underestimated the impact of the internet in the time we are living through. This is the beginning of integration of the real world and the tech world, we need to start making stuff that brings value to people. The biggest problem that we have right now is that we are not reverse engineering the end goal of our customer, we reverse engineering of what we want for ourselves. We need to start understating the lifetime value and retention that how you have sustainable businesses long-term.

  • We need to get practical understanding of how to build businesses which is not front line or top line revenue, it’s actually bottom line and keeping customers, that is a real differentiator.
  • Execution is a differentiator. If your team has the ability to execute you can win.
  • Value is differentiator. We are living in the most ridiculous, super time ever. Value is subjective. How do you quantify value? We can argue about value, but if you have users that mean that you brought them value.
  • Work ethic is becoming a very substantial differentiator, the hustle really matters.
  • Keep saying hello to people, it’s people that will be the differentiator for you”.  So the main differentiator is the people, and its people that this is all about.

After Garry’s speech I actually came up with one great entrepreneurial tip too – if you have never heard Garry Vaynerchuk speak – do it! You will get inspired for months ahead!

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