Interview by Web Smith.
“I may or may not even buy the Jets from [Robert] “Woody” Johnson.”
Vaynerchuk is a man focused like never before. But did you notice that things were a little different over the past year? Gary has had a quiet, uneventful, seemingly less-accomplished 2012, let’s face it. I mean, right? Gary Vaynerchuk has been known to most as a very-public, acutely-opportunistic, self-promoting, super-entrepreneur. Most that don’t truly know him would even venture to call him ‘ostentatious’.
For his community of nearly one million followers on Twitter, you likely noticed: more personal breaks, more autonomy from his employees, longer family trips, more talk of his wonderful children, less business talking points, and an astounding lack of concern (in comparison to years past) with one particular professional team. He probably tweeted any comments on “Tebow” less that five times in 2012. This is the same guy who once said, Listening to your users is good, but giving a shit about your community is WAY better!”
“You have to care about everything. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what you want to do every day for the rest of your life – then go do it.
Where was Gary in 2012? Where was Gary when the digital media landscape was changing, faster than ever? Where was Gary when startups were gaining value at rates never-before-seen? Where was Gary as the Fortune 500 holdouts finally began adopting what he’s been preaching for better than a decade? Where was Gary as the New Jersey Nets went #HelloBrooklyn on us?
His drop in concern with: social media’s thought leadership, traditional media appearances, and publicity - was all so odd to many of us. It left many wondering, “What caused this sudden shift in priorities?” Look no further than the aforementioned questions. Even as the NFL’s New York Jets made a mockery of themselves, Gary - the hopeful, future majority owner - kept uncharacteristically quiet. Here is the kicker, while we were all wondering, he was working. While we were all pondering these questions, he was out there answering them. How? By influencing each role with his team of genius at Vaynermedia. He was too busy doing the necessary work.
Just last night, I had the opportunity to reach out to him from Columbus. We had an insightful conversation about his growth of Vaynermedia, a fresh attitude, and his progress towards the purchase of the New York Jets. Worthwhile insight in under nine minutes. The raw interview with Gary (NSFW): The most important point was Gary’s final statement (which was inadvertently cut off during the final sentence}: "I don’t think that [competing digital agencies] have the time to do the homework to care about [VaynerMedia]. And I think that that’s right, because they are busy. So I don’t blame them because I have been very quiet in branding Vayner. And that day will come, it may even happen this year. But I promise you, when I decide for people to know about Vayner - everybody will know about us."
Gary competes to bridge the gap between Vaynermedia’s beginning and the company’s pinnacle. For anyone that has paid close attention, Gary’s strategy went from a) letting people know what innovation was coming next to b) surprising competitors with silent, diligent work - giving them little opportunity to compete for innovation. If you look at Vaynerchuk’s Wikipedia page, you will notice that of all of the accomplishments listed, there is absolutely nothing devoted to Vaynermedia. This interview was a heads up, Vaynerchuk is competing to win.
Don’t let the silence fool you.