Gary Vaynerchuk

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Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk by Erik Kastner.jpg
Gary Vaynerchuk
Born (1975-11-14) November 14, 1975 (age 40)
Babruysk, Soviet Union
Other names Garyvee
Known for Entrepreneurship, social media, angel investing, wine education
Notable work Wine Library TV The #AskGaryVee Show

Gary Vaynerchuk (born November 14, 1975, in Babruysk, former Soviet Union now Belarus) is an entrepreneur, investor, author, public speaker, and internet personality.


Vaynerchuk immigrated to the U.S. in 1978, and moved with his family to Edison, New Jersey.[1] After graduating from Mount Ida College in Newton, MA, transformed his father's Springfield, Union County, New Jersey liquor store into a retail wine store named Wine Library,[2] and in 2006 started the video blog Wine Library TV, a daily internet webcast on the subject of wine.

In August 2011, Vaynerchuk announced he would be stepping away from his daily wine video series to focus his attention on VaynerMedia, the social media brand consulting agency he co-founded in the Spring of 2009. Vaynerchuk describes social media as a cocktail party, where brands must be a part of conversations that people have.[3]


Wine Library[edit]

After graduating from college in 1998, Vaynerchuk assumed day to day control of his father's liquor store, then called Shopper's Discount Liquors.[4] Through a combination of ecommerce, email marketing, and aggressive pricing, Vaynerchuk grew the business from $3 million to $50 million a year by 2005.[4][5]


In 2009, Gary, along with his brother AJ Vaynerchuk, founded VaynerMedia, a social media-focused digital agency.[6] The company focuses on providing social media and strategy services to Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Anheuser-Busch, Mondelez, and PepsiCo.[6][7] In 2015, VaynerMedia was named one of AdAge's A-List agencies.[7]


In 2014, stemming from an investment background which included exits in both Tumblr and Buddy Media, Vaynerchuk started a $25 Million investment fund with RSE Ventures' Matt Higgins, named VaynerRSE. The fund focuses on consumer technology and acts as an incubator in addition to traditional angel investing.[8]

The #AskGaryVee Show[edit]

The #AskGaryVee Show is a YouTube series that Vaynerchuk began on July 31, 2014.[9] The show typically consists of a series of fans asking Vaynerchuk questions via social media platforms. The questions usually are related to business, marketing, branding, and social media. Most of the videos are shot inside the Vayner Media office in New York City. The content of the show revolves around the principles laid out in Vaynerchuk's books Crush It, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, and The Thank You Economy.

List of best-selling books[edit]

Crush It[edit]

In March 2009, Vaynerchuk signed a 10-book deal with HarperStudio for over $1,000,000 and released the first book, Crush It! Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion, in October 2009.[10] In the first weeks of its release Crush It climbed to #1 on the Amazon Best Seller list for Web Marketing books. It also opened at #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Advice bestseller list and #7 on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller List.[citation needed][11]Crush It! was featured in ReadWrite, CBS News, and Psychology Today.[12][13][14]

The book encourages people to determine what truly makes them happy and pursue monetizing around it on the internet. It argues that because of recent social and technological trends the cost of producing content has been driven low enough that passion, knowledge, and effort, which the book calls "sweat equity", are now all one needs to build a brand and business.

Crush It was also among the first books released on the Vook platform.[15]

Vaynerchuk appeared in an episode of the CollegeHumor web series Jake and Amir in 2009, and parodied the nonsensical aspects of Crush It.

"The Thank You Economy"[edit]

In March 2011, Vaynerchuk released his follow-up to Crush It, in collaboration with HarperStudio, The Thank You Economy. This sophomore release in Vaynerchuk's business book series focuses on the need for companies to adapt in the Internet era, where the empowerment of the common consumer has created a fundamental shift in how businesses are expected to behave.

"The Thank You Economy" landed Vaynerchuk again at #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Advice & Misc. Bestseller List, behind Suze Orman's "Money Class."[16]

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right-Hook[edit]

In November 2013, Vaynerchuk released his 3rd book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right-Hook, under publisher Harper Business, an imprint of Harper Collins. By highlighting campaigns and strategies that both succeeded and failed across all of the major social media platforms, Vaynerchuk's third installment focused on social media marketing strategies and tactics that businesses should be avoiding or employing. Jab Jab Jab Right Hook debuted at #1 on the Wall Street Journal's business book list, and at #4 on the New York Times Hardcover Advice bestseller list.[17][18]

Wine Library TV[edit]

New Media Expo 2008
Left: with iJustine & Leo Laporte  Right: with Ben Parr, Ezarik, et al.

Wine Library TV (WLTV or The Thunder Show) (2006–2011) was a video podcast hosted by Vaynerchuk, featuring wine reviews and advice on wine appreciation. Episodes consisted of wine tastings along with other wine related topics. The show debuted on February 21, 2006 and was produced on a daily basis at the Wine Library store in Springfield, New Jersey. Episodes taped Monday through Thursday usually took place on a desk in Vaynerchuk's office, normally tasting three or four wines, and the Friday episode took place on Vaynerchuk's office couch, tasting usually only one wine and answering questions submitted via his Facebook application Ask Gary. Each show was watched by up to 90,000 viewers.[19] Vaynerchuk appeared on the cover of the December 2008 issue of Mutineer Magazine, launching the "Mutineer Interview" series.[20]

Vaynerchuk gave his impressions and rates wines using the 100-point scale. As an outspoken critic of numerical scores, he acknowledged his hypocrisy in using them.[21][22]

While typically a one-man show, guests were occasionally featured on the program. Celebrity guests included Jancis Robinson,[19] Heidi Barrett, George M. Taber, Kevin Rose, Maynard James Keenan, Michael Steinberger, Ingrid Hoffmann, Timothy Ferriss, Jim Cramer of CNBC's Mad Money, Kermit Lynch, Wayne Gretzky, and Dick Vermeil.[23]

Vaynerchuk also partnered with, where he has released videos about wine, sometimes working with celebrities such as Anna Faris.

In March 2009, Wine Library TV was nominated in the Streamy Awards.

After 1,000 episodes of Wine Library TV, the show was retired in March 2011,[24] replaced by a very similar video podcast called The Daily Grape, with a slightly shorter format of only two wine reviews, and fewer guests.

On August 23, 2011 he announced on Daily Grape that he was retiring from wine video blogging.[25]

Obsessed TV[edit]

Vaynerchuk teamed up with Samantha Ettus in 2009 to create and produce Obsessed TV, a web talk show. Together they interviewed 75 celebrities and notables, including Mark Bittman, Al Roker, and Jill Stuart.[26] The format of the show was a 30-40 minute in-depth interview with Samantha Ettus followed by wine-focused 3–4 minutes with Vaynerchuk at the end.[27][28] The show ended in December 2009.[29]


Vaynerchuk has been featured in "The New York Times",[30] The Wall Street Journal,[31] GQ, and Time,[32] appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Ellen.[33] Vaynerchuk has been described as "the first wine guru of the YouTube era",[21][34] "the wine world's new superstar",[35] and by Rob Newsom, a Washington State wine maker, "outside of Robert Parker, probably the most influential wine critic in the United States".[36] In the July 2009 Decanter publication of "The Power List" ranking of the wine industry's individuals of influence, Vaynerchuk placed at number 40, citing that he "represents the power of blogging".[37][38]

Awards, honors & press[edit]


  • Gary Vaynerchuk's 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World (2008)
  • Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion (2009)
  • The Thank You Economy (2011)
  • Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook (2013)


  1. ^ Friend, tad. "V-va-va-voom!", The New Yorker, June 7, 2010. Accessed January 31, 2013. "He thumped his heart. 'I was born in the Soviet Union, and we were poor when we came here' — to Edison, New Jersey — 'so it's incredible to me that that many people are interested.'"
  2. ^ Asimov, Eric (September 8, 2009). "Pop goes the critic". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "Gary Vaynerchuk: Your Social Media Strategy Should Start With Twitter". Inc. 24 Nov 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "IN PERSON; Straight Up, Not Sideways". May 29, 2005. 
  5. ^ "SELLING WINE THE WEB 2.0 WAY". KERMIT PATTISON. September 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing". New York Times. November 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Ad Age's 2015 Agency A-List Standouts: Grey, 180LA, AKQA and More". 
  8. ^ "Here’s what Gary Vaynerchuck is really up to with that new $25M fund (exclusive)". Venture Beat. February 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ "#AskGaryVee Episode 1: How to Utilize Native Ad Platforms." YouTube. YouTube, 31 July 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.
  10. ^ Nelson, Sara (April 2, 2009). "Twitter's "Garyvee" Vaynerchuk Gets A Book Deal". 
  11. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2009-11-01). "Hardcover Advice for the week of October 24, 2009". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  12. ^ Cameron, Chris (2010-02-05). "Weekend Reading: Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  13. ^ Pagliarini, Robert (2010-06-23). "Book Review: Gary Vaynerchuck's Crush It!". CBS News. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  14. ^ Brooks, Katharine (2010-02-07). "Crush Your Dreams and Watch Them Take Off". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  15. ^ Gary Vaynerchuk's "Crush It!" Now a Vook
  16. ^ The New York Times The New York Times Best Sellers
  17. ^ "NYT Best Sellers". December 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Best-Selling Books Week Ended Dec. 1". The Wall Street Journal. 
  19. ^ a b Robinson, Jancis, Financial Times (November 15, 2008). "The online evangelist". 
  20. ^ "Issue #3 Cover Mutineer, Gary Vaynerchuk, Appears on the CBS Early Show". Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Steinberger, Mike, Slate (August 1, 2007). "Watch Me Drink!". 
  22. ^ "WLTV Spreadsheet". WLTV. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  23. ^ Dick Vermeil, Paul Smith and Gary Vaynerchuk - Episode #237
  24. ^ Vaynerchuk, Gary, Wine Library TV (March 14, 2011). "Episode 1,000". Wine Library TV. 
  25. ^ "The Final Grape". Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ Erick Schonfeld (February 27, 2009). "Gary Vay•ner•chuk Expands His Web Video Empire With Obsessed TV". TechCrunch. 
  28. ^ Michelle Lentz. "Gary V’s new venture: Obsessed TV". 
  29. ^
  30. ^ Rosen, Jan M. (2019-03-1). "Be It Twittering or Bloggin, Its all about marketing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-08.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  31. ^ Vanessa O'Connell (2006-08-25). "Ripe for Change: Wine Sales Thrive As Old Barriers Start to Crumble". Wall Street Journal. 
  32. ^ Stein, Joel, TIME Magazine (2007-06-28). "Totally Uncorked". Time Inc. 
  33. ^ "About Winelibrary TV". Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  34. ^ Crosariol, Beppi, The Globe and Mail (January 23, 2008). "YouTube wine guru: A subtle hint of 'Big League Chew'". Toronto. 
  35. ^ Foley, Stephen, The Independent (08-04-2008). "Gary Vaynerchuk: The wine world's new superstar". London.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  36. ^ Page, Karen & Dornenburg, Andrew, Washington Post (2008-01-30). "Suited for the Super Bowl". The Washington Post. 
  37. ^ Decanter (July 2009). "The Power List", p.39
  38. ^ Lechmere, Adam, (June 1, 2009). "Power List 2009: Parker Gives Way to Constellation". 
  39. ^ "And the Vloggie Winners are...". Pod Tech Network. Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  40. ^ "American Wine Blog Awards Winners". Fermentation. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  41. ^ 2007 Editors’ Awards for Online Excellence, The Morning News
  42. ^ Sarah E. Needleman (2011-06-28). "Twitter's Small-Business Big Shots". Wall Street Journal. 
  43. ^ "How to Master the 4 Big Social-Media Platforms". Inc Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  44. ^ Segal, David (November 2, 2013). "Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing". New York Times. 
  45. ^ Fussman, Cal. "Gary Vaynerchuk: What I've Learned". Esquire. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  46. ^ "Fortune Magazine's 2014 40 Under 40". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  47. ^ "40 Under 40 | Crain's New York Business". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 

External links[edit]