If you are from a traditional B2B background and are neither an oenophile nor a new-media geek, the chances are good that you haven’t heard of Gary Vaynerchuk. Twenty years ago that would have been no cause for concern. But if you hope to be a player in the 21st century media business, you need to pay close attention to what Vaynerchuk is doing.
It’s a testament to the profoundly disruptive impact of the Internet that a guy who sells wine for a living should have valuable lessons for B2B professionals. Pre-Internet, Vaynerchuk would have been—and was—a big advertiser and marketer, but not a media maven. But he caught on early to the potential of the Web, starting an online outlet for his business at WineLibrary.com in 1997. His involvement in new media really took off, though, in 2006, when, inspired by Ze Frank’s online video project , he started a daily video Webcast, WineLibraryTV.com.
As seems to be the case with most new-media celebrities, Vaynerchuk’s status has been confirmed by an old-media milestone: the publication of his first book. Released last Monday (Oct. 13, 2009), Crush It! looks to be above all a motivational book for nonprofessionals, but perhaps as well a useful guide to new media.
There will be a full review of Crush It! on B2B Memes soon. But in the meantime, I refer you to this brief ABC News interview with Vaynerchuk [Update: no longer available online]. From it can be gleaned the following three lessons on new media.