A few Mixergy readers asked to see the notes I made to prep for the Gary Vaynerchuk interview. This is very raw data and I’m not sure it’s very interesting (you’ll have to tell me). I highlighted some of the interesting parts.

I think the good stuff will happen live, so watch us: Thursday, July 2 @ 11 AM Pacific on


  1. Gary grew Wine Library from $4 million to upward of $50 million between 1998 and 2005 5
  2. 90,000 viewers per day at Wine Library TV 8


  1. To be the Emeril Lagasse (bigger!) of wine. 1
  2. “I want to own the New York Jets.” 7

The inspiration

  1. Saw the power of social media in 2005 when millions shared a Saturday Night Live clip called “Lazy Sunday.” 1
  2. Saw how Amanda Congdon and Ze Frank built fan communities around their content and decided to do it too. 1
  3. On his 30th birthday, he had a “freakout,” which lead to launching Wine Library TV. 5

The mission

  1. To demystify wine using the language, attitude and new media that appeal to a young, tech-savvy generation 4
  2. Considered doing a sports show, but decided to do a show about wine because he knew it best. 1
  3. People think he does Wine Library TV to sell wine, but he says he does it to build his brand. 1
  4. Quote from his father: “There are much bigger things to come…I think he has a very good chance to replace Oprah.” 1
  5. “Wine has been put on pedestal. That’s what I want to change.” 7

The store

  1. Father opened Shopper’s Discount Liquors in 1983. 6
  2. The store’s name was changed to Wine Library. 1
  3. Gary discovered his love for the store when he was allowed to sell wine. Till then it was drudgery. 1
  4. Located in Springfield, NJ 2
  5. Began online sales in 1997 3


  1. He was born in Russia and came to the US when he was 3. 1
  2. Sasha Vaynerchuk, opened a liquor store in New Jersey soon after emigrating from Russia in 1978 1
  3. Met his wife Liz on JDate when he was 28 5

Wine Library TV

  1. The show is called “The Thunder Show.” Says, “My buddies and I used “thunder” in New Jersey when we were 12 or 13: you made a basket or were good at Nintendo. Thunder!” 3
  2. Chris Mott, long-time Wine Library employee, works the camera for the show. 1
  3. Gary uses no mic because he believes it keeps the show authentic.1
  4. Fans call themselves Vayniacs 2
  5. Launched February 2006. 5


  1. He bought an online community of wine fans when it had 40,000 users 4
  2. After being interviewed for Slate, called and asked for “front page action.5
  3. Since September 2007, Mr. Vaynerchuk has been represented by Creative Artists’ Agency. “Which is completely obnoxious,” he said 6
  4. “We are in the fundamental gold rush of personal branding,” Mr. Vaynerchuk said. 6
  5. I don’t think you can hang with me for a long time without realizing I’m up to something big, so imagine living with me. Something’s happening, and it’s not small.” 6


  1. Business Week May 20, 2008
  2. Wine Library web site
  3. New York Times March 11, 2009
  4. CNN November 14, 2007
  5. Slate, August 1, 2007
  6. The New York Observe, May 6, 2008r
  7. Fast Company, September 16, 2008
  8. Jimmy Fallon
  9. Photo credit: Fast Company

Your turn

If you’re reading this, I’d love feedback on these questions.

  1. Did I miss anything that I should know?
  2. Do you even want to see notes like this?? Is there any value to you???