Gary Vaynerchuk

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Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk by Erik Kastner.jpg
Gary Vaynerchuk
Born (1975-11-14) November 14, 1975 (age 41)
Babruysk, Soviet Union
Nationality United States
Other names Garyvee
Known for Entrepreneurship, social media, angel investing, wine education
Notable work Wine Library TV The #AskGaryVee Show
Net worth $50 million[1][2]
Gary Vaynerchuk Signature.svg

Gary Vaynerchuk (born Gennady Vaynerchuk[3][4] on November 14, 1975) is an American serial entrepreneur, four-time New York Times bestselling author, speaker and internationally recognized internet personality.[5][6] First known as a leading wine critic who grew his family’s wine business from $3 million to $60 million, Vaynerchuk is best known as a digital marketing and social-media pioneer at the helm of New York-based VaynerMedia and VaynerX.[7][8]

Vaynerchuk is an angel investor or advisor to Uber, Birchbox, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, among others. He is a regular keynote speaker at global entrepreneurship and technology conferences.[9]

Early life[edit]

Vaynerchuk was born in the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in 1978, after the Soviet Union signed the SALT I agreements, which allowed Soviet Jews to leave the country in exchange for American wheat.[10] Gary and eight family members lived in a studio-apartment in Queens, New York.[11] After living in Queens, Vaynerchuk and his family moved to Edison, New Jersey where Vaynerchuk operated a lemonade-stand franchise and earned thousands of dollars on weekends trading baseball cards.[12][13] At age 14, he joined his family's retain wine business. Vaynerchuk graduated with a bachelor's degree from Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts in 1998.[14]


Wine Library[edit]

After graduating from college in 1999 Vaynerchuk assumed day-to-day control of his father's Springfield, New Jersey store, Shopper's Discount Liquors. Gary renamed the store to Wine Library, launched sales online and in 2006 started Wine Library TV, a daily webcast covering wine.[15]

Through a combination of e-commerce, email marketing, and pricing, Vaynerchuk grew the business from $3 million to $60 million a year by 2005. In August 2011, Vaynerchuk announced he would be stepping away to build VaynerMedia, the digital ad agency he co-founded with his brother in 2009.[15][16]


In 2009, Gary, along with his brother AJ Vaynerchuk, founded VaynerMedia, a social media-focused digital agency.[17] The company focuses on providing social media and strategy services to Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Anheuser-Busch, Mondelez, and PepsiCo.[17][18] In 2014, VaynerMedia grossed $40 million in revenue, and was named one of AdAge's A-List agencies for 2015.[18]


With an investment background that includes 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.[19]


In June 2016 Gary Vaynerchuk started his partnership with a sports agency to create VaynerSports to add his social media and digital agency zest to sports athletes' career and future.[20]

YouTube and Facebook Video Series[edit]

Wine Library TV[edit]

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

Vaynerchuk hosted a video blog on YouTube called Wine Library TV (WLTV or The Thunder Show) from 2006-2011, which featured wine reviews, tastings, and advice on wine appreciation. The show debuted on February 21, 2006 and was produced on daily 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 viewed by up to 90,000 viewers.[21] Vaynerchuk appeared on the cover of the December 2008 issue of Mutineer Magazine, launching the "Mutineer Interview" series.[22]

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.[23][24]

While typically a one-man show, guests were occasionally featured on the program. Celebrity guests included Jancis Robinson,[21] 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.[25]

After 1,000 episodes of Wine Library TV, the show was retired in March 2011,[26] replaced by a very similar video podcast called The Daily Grape, with a slightly shorter format of only two wine reviews, and fewer guests.[citation needed]

On August 23, 2011, he announced on Daily Grape that he was retiring from wine video blogging.[27]

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.[28] 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.[29][30] The show ended in December 2009.[31]


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.[32] 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][33]Crush It! was featured in ReadWrite, CBS News, and Psychology Today.[34][35][36]

Crush It! was also among the first books released on the Vook platform.[37]

The Thank You Economy[edit]

The Thank You Economy reached #2 on the New York Times Hardcover Advice & Misc. Bestseller List, behind Suze Orman's "Money Class."[38]

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

In November 2013, Vaynerchuk released his 3rd book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, 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.[39][40]

AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness[edit]

In March 2016, Vaynerchuk released his 4th book, AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness, under publisher Harper Business, an imprint of Harper Collins. The book is sampled off of Vayerchuk's YouTube series #AskGaryVee. Gary compiled the best questions and answers from his YouTube show into this novel based on categories such as Self-awareness, Parenting, and Hustle. Vaynerchuk's now fourth installment covers a broad range of topics and tactics for businesses and entrepreneurs to follow. #AskGaryVee is Vaynerchuk's fourth New York Times bestseller list.[39]


Vaynerchuk has been featured in "The New York Times",[41] The Wall Street Journal,[42] GQ, and Time,[43] appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Ellen.[44] Vaynerchuk has been described as "the first wine guru of the YouTube era",[23][45] "the wine world's new superstar",[46] and by Rob Newsom, a Washington State wine maker, "outside of Robert Parker, probably the most influential wine critic in the United States".[47] 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".[48][49]

Awards, honors & press[edit]

  • 2006: People's Choice Vloggie in the categories of "Cooking" and "Instructional/Educational"[50]
  • 2007: American Wine Blog Awards, Best Wine Podcast or Videoblog[51]
  • 2007: The Morning News's "Favorite Web Phenomenon, Soon-to-Be Culinary Celebrity, Web Bucket-Spitter"[52]
  • 2011: The Wall Street Journal Twitter's Small Business Big Shots [53]
  • 2013: Inc. (magazine) "How to Master the 4 Big Social-Media Platforms" November 2013 cover story [54]
  • 2013: New York Times "Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing" [55]
  • 2013: Esquire (magazine) "Gary Vaynerchuk: What I've Learned" [56]
  • 2015: Crain's New York Business 40 Under 40 [57]


  • #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness Hardcover (2016) ISBN 0062273124
  • Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion (2009) ISBN 0061914177
  • Gary Vaynerchuk's 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World (2008) ISBN 1594868824


  1. ^ "Gary Vaynerchuk Net Worth". Celebrity Net Worth. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Tony Robbins and 18 of the richest social media influencers you should be following". MSN. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Gary Vaynerchuk - Do u live in San Diego ? I'm doing a... | Facebook". Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  4. ^ Lapidario, Milie (2012-02-04). Quicklet On Gary Vaynerchuk's Crush It! (CliffsNotes-like Book Summary). Hyperink Inc. ISBN 9781614647652. 
  5. ^ "Gary Vaynerchuk is buying PureWow, a women's media company that generated about $20 million in 2016". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "How Gary Vaynerchuk Scales The Unscalable". Forbes magazine. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Millionaire Gary Vaynerchuk Shares His Secrets on Personal Branding". Entrepreneur magazine. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk 'cannot wait' for the startup armageddon". Recode. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Is Gary Vaynerchuk for real?". Fortune. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  10. ^ "What Price a Soviet Jew?". The New York Times. 1981-02-22. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  11. ^ Gary Vaynerchuk (2016-03-19), SXSW Keynote 2016, retrieved 2016-12-09 
  12. ^ "Gary Vaynerchuk Reveals the Skill That Made Him Millions (and That Anyone Can Learn)". Inc. magazine. Retrieved 20 February 2017. 
  13. ^ 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.'"
  14. ^ Asimov, Eric (September 8, 2009). "Pop goes the critic". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ a b "At Wine Superstores, Tastings Are Just the Start". June 22, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ "SELLING WINE THE WEB 2.0 WAY". KERMIT PATTISON. September 16, 2008. 
  17. ^ a b "Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing". New York Times. November 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Ad Age's 2015 Agency A-List Standouts: Grey, 180LA, AKQA and More". Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  19. ^ "Here's what Gary Vaynerchuck is really up to with that new $25M fund (exclusive)". Venture Beat. February 14, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Gary Vaynerchuk Creates VaynerSports to Go After the Sports Agency Market with Social Media". jobsinsocialmedia. June 14, 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  21. ^ a b Robinson, Jancis, Financial Times (November 15, 2008). "The online evangelist". 
  22. ^ "Issue #3 Cover Mutineer, Gary Vaynerchuk, Appears on the CBS Early Show". Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Steinberger, Mike, Slate (August 1, 2007). "Watch Me Drink!". 
  24. ^ "WLTV Spreadsheet". WLTV. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  25. ^ Dick Vermeil, Paul Smith and Gary Vaynerchuk - Episode #237
  26. ^ Vaynerchuk, Gary, Wine Library TV (March 14, 2011). "Episode 1,000". Wine Library TV. 
  27. ^ "The Final Grape". Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ Erick Schonfeld (February 27, 2009). "Gary Vay•ner•chuk Expands His Web Video Empire With Obsessed TV". TechCrunch. 
  30. ^ Michelle Lentz. "Gary V's new venture: Obsessed TV". 
  31. ^
  32. ^ Nelson, Sara (April 2, 2009). "Twitter's "Garyvee" Vaynerchuk Gets A Book Deal". 
  33. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2009-11-01). "Hardcover Advice for the week of October 24, 2009". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  34. ^ Cameron, Chris (2010-02-05). "Weekend Reading: Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk". ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  35. ^ Pagliarini, Robert (2010-06-23). "Book Review: Gary Vaynerchuck's Crush It!". CBS News. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  36. ^ Brooks, Katharine (2010-02-07). "Crush Your Dreams and Watch Them Take Off". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  37. ^ Gary Vaynerchuk's "Crush It!" Now a Vook
  38. ^ The New York Times The New York Times Best Sellers
  39. ^ a b "NYT Best Sellers". December 15, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Best-Selling Books Week Ended Dec. 1". The Wall Street Journal. 
  41. ^ Rosen, Jan M. (2009-03-01). "Be It Twittering or Bloggin, Its all about marketing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  42. ^ Vanessa O'Connell (2006-08-25). "Ripe for Change: Wine Sales Thrive As Old Barriers Start to Crumble". Wall Street Journal. 
  43. ^ Stein, Joel, TIME Magazine (2007-06-28). "Totally Uncorked". Time Inc. 
  44. ^ "About Winelibrary TV". Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  45. ^ Crosariol, Beppi, The Globe and Mail (January 23, 2008). "YouTube wine guru: A subtle hint of 'Big League Chew'". Toronto. 
  46. ^ Foley, Stephen (2008-08-03). "Gary Vaynerchuk: The wine world's new superstar". London: The Independent. 
  47. ^ Page, Karen & Dornenburg, Andrew, Washington Post (2008-01-30). "Suited for the Super Bowl". The Washington Post. 
  48. ^ Decanter (July 2009). "The Power List", p.39
  49. ^ Lechmere, Adam, (June 1, 2009). "Power List 2009: Parker Gives Way to Constellation". 
  50. ^ "And the Vloggie Winners are...". Pod Tech Network. Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  51. ^ "American Wine Blog Awards Winners". Fermentation. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  52. ^ 2007 Editors’ Awards for Online Excellence, The Morning News
  53. ^ Sarah E. Needleman (2011-06-28). "Twitter's Small-Business Big Shots". Wall Street Journal. 
  54. ^ "How to Master the 4 Big Social-Media Platforms". Inc Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  55. ^ Segal, David (November 2, 2013). "Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing". New York Times. 
  56. ^ Fussman, Cal. "Gary Vaynerchuk: What I've Learned". Esquire. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  57. ^ "40 Under 40 | Crain's New York Business". Retrieved 2015-10-12. 

External links[edit]