Having nothing to do with law or ethics, yesterday Gary Vaynerchuk "retired" from his online video wine show. For 1000 episodes, almost daily during the work week for 5 years, he hosted Wine Library TV. The concept was simple, he said hello, tasted a few wines, maybe had a guest (some famous, others famous in the wine world, and others merely fans of the show), asked a question, and signed off. It was wildly popular and was a big window to his family's wine shop.
He then re-branded the show earlier this year, calling it "Daily Grape." Now, 89 episodes later, he's done.
There was no champagne, no party, just a simple tasting of one wine, and a highly personal good-bye
Others, many due to Gary's success, have made miserably pathetic attempts at video blogging. I watched one last as many episodes as it had viewers. I think the number was 3. Gary was successful because he had something to say, and he was as real off-line as he was on-line. He received many accolades. Some he mentioned humbly, others he kept quiet about. I recently saw him listed on one of those "most powerful" lists, and immediately realized he hadn't mentioned it anywhere. How many of you social media hounds would ever do that?
I've written about Gary before. He is a rarity in today's internet world - a real guy with a real business and nothing to lie about to puff his resume. Gary's success was due to his personality, his transparency, and his accessibility to his fans. He is one of the few people on social media who is a true success in business, unlike the so-called "social media gurus" who he rightly says "98% are clowns."
Gary had a real business, he didn't create a persona on social media with nothing behind it and then claim he was a success because he had 800,000 twitter followers, or had maxed out on the amount of Facebook friends allowed.
Most people do it in reverse and claim success. While Gary built a business and fan base - a root cause of his social media success, most think it's the opposite - gain followers and friends (with no substantive business behind you) and then claim that you can give business advice because many people are following your retweeting of others blog posts and are your writing of "how to walk and chew gum" posts to the congratulations of your social media circle jerk.
Most people on social media today have never obtained success in anything but typing.
I respect that his decision came after long reflection. To realize that something that has defined you for so long is no longer something you are passionate about, is a difficult moment. Although ironically I found less time to watch, I was disappointed Gary ended his video show. I told him as much, and although I understand the lack of passion to continue it on an almost daily basis, I hope he'll consider a more-than-occasional appearance.
Non-anonymous comments welcome. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.