How Wine Library TV Is Catapulting Its Founder To Fame And Fortune.

This is the story of a guy who plugged a video camera into his computer and made himself into an internet celebrity. Then he parlayed that fame into appearances on major TV shows and ownership stakes in several internet companies.

Gary Vaynerchuk came to Mixergy and talk about how he launched and grew Wine Library TV, his high-octane, online show about wine.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine. As his viewership swelled to over 90,000 a day, doors opened to a book deal, several national TV appearances, and a flurry of speaking engagements around the world.


Edited excerpts from how Gary did it

He got inspired by watching the video pioneers

In mid-2005 my developers Eric and John at Wine Library started taking a lot of lunch breaks with video bloggers Ze Frank and Amanda Congdon. When I first saw Ze’s show, it was just very obvious to me that internet video content was going to work. And I was passionate about wine and I was going to do it. It was going to be big because I am badass and I really give a crap. And I was going to work so much harder than anybody else that there was no chance that I wouldn’t have unanimous victory over the world.

He got motivated about the opportunity

Victory meant being super happy every day.

I knew I was doing something new. I knew that it would be looked back on as legacy. It’s nice to be known as one of the early substantial video bloggers. So I was just excited about the opportunity of being part of something new, crushing it, working hard, changing people’s minds about wine is very exciting to me. I wanted to expand the wine world. And you know there are so many people watching now that didn’t like wine prior to my show. That’s badass, that’s exciting.

He started simply

I sent a stock boy to Best Buy because I was so hungry to get going right away.

He came back, Eric, my lead developer, turned it on, I grabbed three bottles of high end California wine and just started taping a show. And that was it.

He focused on a few new tools

I was excited to use the tools to promote the show. At the time, Facebook was a college play. I was scared to go into Facebook and seem a creepy old guy peddling alcohol, so I didn’t really leverage Facebook. Twitter was alive, but nobody knew it. I got involved a little bit later in ’06. But what really was interesting was getting involved with reading comments on blogs, and going to forums, and all the little things that I needed to do and most of all answering every email as I started to gain a small fan-base.

He put in more work than others

Honestly, I think people bullshit. I don’t think people put in twelve hours a day in the community. I don’t think people spend the time.

Here’s an example. Do you know how much emailing I did? And how much it dictated my life? And how much time it took? Enormous. Just crazy amounts.

My brother AJ would take a flight to San Francisco, we’re bros and we love each other, but I’d put on a headset to avoid distraction and the whole flight I’d answer email. So, I just cared a lot more.

How he got access to the media

I hired a PR person in January 2008. What I loved about her was that she was very ingrained in the food world. She had repped Rachael Ray for 5 years and I wanted access to the Today Show and Gourmet Magazine and those things, so I paid for access.

He got on TV for the first time

I got a Time Magazine article written about me. That was a big deal, you know, the writer really painted a great picture of who I was.

That led to several producers at Conan reading that article in Time, going online watching what I did. They thought I had “it.” They sent an email to Viddler — not even me to the site that hosts my videos, Viddler –cause they didn’t know how to get to me. Thank God Rob Sandie, Viddler’s president, sent me the email and didn’t think it was a joke.

I called them and basically I blew them away in the phone call. They called me because they wanted to see if I was legit, and the first time I ever went on television was the Conan O’Brien Show.

He turned online fame into shares and cash

I started getting pieces of equity because people started emailing me and saying “you really get this! You’re a wine guy and you get this better than our $400 million company.” Or “why do you understand Facebook and Twitter better than I do I’m a developer or I’m a web guy?” So it just came to me.

How did it start happening? My inbox started getting things like this: “Hey! We’ll give you $10,000 to come speak at our conference.” I would do the amazing business move of writing back “OK.”

It came because I didn’t go looking for it and I focused on what was most important. Which was building my brand and the way I built my brand was by caring about the user of whatever product they’re consuming. Whatever product they’re consuming I cared and got involved.

Full program includes

– Clues for how you can build a powerful brand online.

– How working non-stop lead Gary to JDate.

– How Gary ended up owning equity in Twitter.

– The opportunity that might be waiting for you in HUGE web sites that most people ignore.


  • The sound of the post-interview isn't working.

  • Gary has been one of my biggest inspirations in making my business work. I'm not Crushing It as much as I should be, but I am constantly trying to do better. Thank you so much for this interview, really great stuff.

  • The audio dies for me after 48:10.

  • Thanks. I'll re-export it to fix it. Thanks for telling me.

  • Strange. I'll recreate the video and upload it.
    I'm glad Gary's part of the interview made it.

  • It's inspiring to watch a guy who gives life everything he has.

  • Great interview! Gary is always very inspiring..and I respect the fact that he is so straight up with people. I would rather talk to one Gary Vaynerchuck, than to a thousand insincere billionaires.

  • Thanx for a nice interview. Gary V is the Man!! He inspired me to start my own blog. Best of luck to

  • Great video Andrew. Watched it live and picked up a few more ideas watching it a second time. The sound glitch isn't till after the interview has finished, so it doesn't effect the main event. Well worth a watch.

  • With his first answer you can feel the energy and detrmination the guy

    Right on Christi.

    Andrew Warner
    (sent from my mobile)

  • Andrew, good interview.

    Learnt more about Gary V in your interview than I'd known previously.
    Some nice pointed questions, especially about the Vayner Media business.

  • Andrew,

    Strong interview with Gary V. I was especially interested in what he's doing away from Wine Library TV, with Vayner Media and the sweat equity & twitter investments.

  • Good interview, loved the format and the questions! :)

  • I think this interview uncovered info about his investments that he
    hadn't heard before.

    Andrew Warner
    (sent from my mobile)

  • Thanks. I love doing these interviews. Good to see you on the site.

    Andrew Warner
    (sent from my mobile)

  • Not a problem. Keep pulling good content from your interviewees and I'll keep coming back for more ;)

  • Michael

    Thanks for the interview Andrew – it was certainly inspiring to hear from someone so dedicated, animated and so interested in their work. I thought it really demonstrated the 'potential' of commitment behind any entrepreneurial task and to really be aware of yourself in terms of your capabilities and interests. This certainly makes sense neurologically :)

  • Great point about the dedication. When I asked him why others who
    spent time on their sites didn't reach his success, Gary called bull
    on them. He said he doesn't believe they really put in as much time as
    they claim.

    Andrew Warner
    (sent from my mobile)

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  • Adrian, NJ

    Wasn't really a fan of Gary's work until this interview. Really shed a positive light on him. I'll be sure to check out wine library tv again.

  • Andrew,

    Your interviews are great. Don't be hard on yourself when things go wrong in the interviews.
    A little tongue tie here or blip there is insignificant – it's all part of it.
    You have more courage doing what you're doing than most. Keep up the great work!

  • I was sent the link to check out the show. Although it took me 3 days to complete it :) (busy busy), I did and enjoyed it.

    Thanks. It's my first time to the site and look forward to the upcoming.


  • RedBoy1

    That was inspirational! It's amazing to see how far belief, determination and a big personality will take you… especially when you know what you're talking about.

  • Seriously good job, Andrew.

    I love the people you've been interviewing and during this interview, I heard a few inroads to where else you could go. Being wrapped up in the entrepreneur world for a couple years now, I always hear entrepreneurs speaking or being interviewed saying, in other words, “Here's where I started and BAM! now I'm way over here.” I, and I think a lot of other people, want to hear about those dirty details. Those days in the trenches when things didn't work out so well because that's where we're all still at.

    Keep it up, Andrew.


  • This was a great interview. I admire how adaptable Gary's approach is to business and this interview is the first one I've seen in a while that really answers a bunch of questions often ignored.

    Thanks! Keep up the great interview and the intuitive type of questions:)

  • Andrew, great job. I guess i see most of the interviews that Gary does, and I really loved this one. You showed us many sides of Gary that he normally doesn't show/say! thanks for the great work! Cyril from

  • Jim Mueller

    Andrew, i just got back from a long vacation…can't wait to get back to my new start-up…laying in bed with a thousand activities to engage in and I found myself wanting to see what new interviews you have up.

    i love your interviews…this one with Gary was exceptional…he's an amazing energy but you also pulled some specifics ideas from him…love the tip on finding out more on Hi5 and Bebo. I love how you don't let these interviews skip over critical details when they say they went from point a to point b.

    Keep up the good work!

    Jim M

  • harshbatra

    Andrew, I first heard the audio version and then watched the video format. I went and saw Gary do his first episode on winelibrary tv and then saw his most recent one. I also saw some of his keynotes. The guy has just incredible energy!
    Here is a question though: how do you follow 2 success stories which contrast so much? I have been following Timothy Ferris 4 hour work week. Tim talks about testing the product and working less and less. Gary on the other hand talks about working your ass off. Both individuals are “successful” in their own right. If you had to implement the fundamentals of one of these individuals…who would you follow? Who should you listen to?

  • I love the “GET” idea. I would love to hear how Ashton Kutcher made it with his career. Because if you look at it in a different way, there are many other professions out there that requires entrepreneurial spirit to succeed.

  • Another great interview Andrew. This site is AWESOME.

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  • guest

    This guy is so full of himself. “I have star power. I have charisma…”.

  • It's one of the things I like about him.

  • onelifenofear

    Great interview.. just shows how success is driven from passion….

  • Great interview! Just got turned on to your site and I'm digging it. Don't worry about your “slip ups,” Andrew; the people at home don't care. I just appreciate you putting out great content.

  • amandamiller

    Very inspiring interview. Great personal and professional advice. I hope Gary gets his billions!

  • I really enjoyed the interview with Gary. I've never heard of him before, and I'm always inspired by bloggers who are successful. He's an energetic speaker, and your questions were very good and followed a logical sequence based on his feedback.

    An important take-away message for me was to really know myself and not doubt so much. I, too, am charismatic, passionate, and knowledgeable about my field. I'm planning on starting my own television show on cable and then monetizing it somehow on my blog.

    Which leads to what was missing. I wasn't sure how Gary made his money. At one point he mentioned selling his own wine. So is that how the wine TV show makes money? Does he sell products? Or is the money from his other venture?

    I'm interested in ideas on how to monetize this passion of mine. I can't work for free and I can't do what needs to be done with a full-time job. I'm an entrepreneur, not a worker.

  • masssponsoring


    Dude just found your site and guy its BOMB!

    NICE! I wish I thought of it 1st… lol

    Keep it up because this is the most in-depth and cut thru the BS interview I have ever seen Gary do…

    Kevin DaSIlva

  • I don't know about the other guys but I can't seem to get the video playing. It seems to be loading forever. Andrew, could you check that out? I would love to able to watch the video.

  • danielle wood

    i made all my millions by selling toast coverd in sperm from a bin in bodrum

  • mathhewjmaes

    tell gary vaynerchuk hes gay

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  • Yuriy

    Amazing interview. I have to rewatch this a few more times. Great job, Andrew.

  • Great interview!

  • Inspiring to see the work you're doing with Mixergy. Now its up to us to hustle and set examples for others.

  • Andrew,

    I stumbled upon this site since I've been following Gary and everything he's been doing. Now I will be following you as well. Your site is an awesome tool to everyone and I can only see it growing with users and getting better as more people like myself come across it. This seems to be something you really care about and that comes across in your interviews and makes for some great content. Keep up the good work

    Tyler Prichard

  • reidwalley

    I totally dig that your going for being a modern-day Napoleon Hill. Think and Grow Rich! And I really enjoyed your Gary Vaynerchuk interview!

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  • Andrew, Got turned onto your site by Nathan Winters and am loving it so far.

    Loved this interview with Gary V. Really great job digging into his secret sauce and having him lay out his ascension (past and future). My goal is to be one of your interviewees within 5 years.

    All the best,
    Mike Popowski (@popowski)

  • What a great interview. You asked some of the most practical questions that I wanted to ask him. Thanks!…

  • U just did, I will inform my wife ;) Hey Matty Jmaes hope we cross paths and u get to know me better…wish u the best!

  • drbillnye

    great job andrew, gary's enthusiasm and energy continue to impress me.

    Also, twas funny to see you flustered by Gary :) Keep up the great work Andrew, I'm slowly sifting through your interviews and finding more and more stuff I love

  • Thank you Andrew! This was a great interview!!

  • faheemmoosa

    Thanks Andrew for a great interview. Lots of super insights, but my biggest takeaway was Gary's advice about doing things you're awesome at. It's amazing how a simple comment like that could have a profound impact on your life…that's why I love Mixergy. Thank you.

  • Hi Andrew.

    Good story here re Gary Vaynerchuk and me.

    With an amazing burst of generosity, Gary's techie Matt Sitomer helped me set up my own online channel.

    But only now, a YEAR later do I finally understand Gary : One should always play to one's strengths instead of trying to be something one is NOT. It's taken me a whole year to fully comprehend this. My TV channel will soon become far more journalistic (the real me) and less 'pitchy' (some other guy).

    I KNEW Gary was right all along.


  • Hi Andrew.

    Good story here re Gary Vaynerchuk and me.

    With an amazing burst of generosity, Gary's techie Matt Sitomer helped me set up my own online channel.

    But only now, a YEAR later do I finally understand Gary : One should always play to one's strengths instead of trying to be something one is NOT. It's taken me a whole year to fully comprehend this. My TV channel will soon become far more journalistic (the real me) and less 'pitchy' (some other guy).

    I KNEW Gary was right all along.


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  • Chu Muonelo

    Man! This was a kick ass interview! Lol, and I don't usually cuss, but I think it fits here! My favorite part was when Andrew let loose and said a few cuss words. I don't know, it somehow made me feel like this interview was more authentic, more live….and it WASN'T! I'm surprised y'all didn't edit some of those parts out.

    Man, this Guy Vaynerchuk guy is awesome. I thought I've seen him come on before (maybe it was his brother), but he had a stronger effect on me than he did last time.

    Thanks for re-airing this interview Andrew, and thanks for coming on Guy. YOu guys KILLED it!

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  • thnx CHu

  • I agree ………..he knows how to do it :)

  • thnx RED!

  • thnx CHu

  • I agree ………..he knows how to do it :)

  • thnx RED!

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