Last night I got back from Miami where I attended BarCampMiami (which Clearspring graciously sponsored) and Ryan Carson‘s one-day conference the Future of Web Apps.
One of the things that I was looking forward to the most was meeting Wine Library TV‘s Gary Vaynerchuk. As you know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I have a TON of respect for him. I’ve been watching his show for a while and love what he’s doing.
Well Gary beat me to the punch. There was a break between sessions. I was headed up to the foyer to grab some much needed caffeine and chit chat with other developers who were there.
I wasn’t fully paying attention to what was going on and out of the blue I hear this New Jersey accent say, “What up J Thorp!” It was Gary V. himself. We chit chatted for 2 or 3 minutes and then he had to run off and do somethings because his talk was coming up. He was closing out the conference.
Side note – Kudos to Ryan Carson for AMAZING book ends to the conference. He started with Kathy Sierra and ended with Gary Vaynerchuk. They were both the best speakers of the entire show.
Well, onto Gary’s talk…It was entitled “The Future of Communities.”
While all the other speakers spoke from slides and notes, Gary just talked. You could tell what he was saying was from his heart, which is really cool.
The main message that I took away from it was that if you’re going to do something, love what you do. If you don’t love it, it will show, which is SO true. You have to believe in the cause you’re working for.
Secondly, I think his message was that you need to be sold out to your users. Your customers and their thoughts and needs are the most important thing.
I’ve heard my friend and social media extraordinaire Shel Israel talk about how if you want to get you first have to give, which is right inline with what Gary was talking about.
Gary talked about how, even up to right before he went on stage, he was answering e-mails from folks who has questions about wine. He was serving his users. This is by far the reason why he has been so successful in business and why his fans are so vocal about their support of him. He’s willing to give of himself.
He went on to say that if you’re a CEO and you’re too busy to have a lot of face time with your user base that you should hire a community manager. I thought this was particularly interesting considering I am now a community manager.
Gary’s words of wisdom were right on. I’ll probably buy the video of the event from Carsonified just get Gary’s talk.
There are so many people that I think need to hear this. So many folks have lost sight of the idea of serving.
I don’t know if Gary’s a Christian but I am. In the Bible, Matthew 22:39, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Something that is talked about in every church but isn’t always show or practiced (by myself included), which is a shame.
At the end of every one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s shows he says, “With you and a little bit of me, we’re changing the wine world, whether they like it or not.” Well Gary, you’re changing more than just the wine world.
(Photo by alex decarvalho)