He took an offline business in a regulated industry (wine) which he inherited and ~20Xed it online, got Internet famous, built one of those social media marketing companies which has fairly little lasting impact but (like Madison Avenue) has a metric truckload of money run through it, got deal flow, invested, etc.
At least one thing he's done is worth watching for many HNers: someone said "It's easy to make money when you have connections but I don't have connections so boo hoo" and he said "Watch me. Suppose for the sake of argument that I own a beer blog, instead of the blog I actually own. My new name is Steve. I Google beer accessories and see this company is advertising on AdWords, so I know they have an advertising budget. I will now cold call them live, as Steve who runs a blog no one has heard of which doesn't exist, and sell them ads on my beer blog."
He then does.
Edit: Found the video. In the intervening years I had misremembered some of the details. Very little of what I watched in 2008 I still quote in 2018; I think I will probably be able to quote this video with that level of detail in 20X8, too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG7WFxT1ySY
He does give some practical advice for young people, like be willing to sacrifice your 20s. Besides that I’m not sure how helpful the rest of his stuff is. He believes FB and IG ads are currently underpriced. I think he makes predictions based on observing what people are putting their moment to moment attentions on, calling it “day-trading” attention.
Honestly I’m wary of charismatic / hype / inspirational speakers / performance coaches as much of HN likely is. But I think he’s not bad for the younger generation, and at least he has some entrepreneurial experience, if that means anything.
Some variation of this story accounts for about 95% of "personality entrepreneurs"/bullshit artists of the Tim Ferris ilk that plague us these days.
”Anytime a company goes out of business, it’s because the founder and CEO was not good enough,” Mr. Vaynerchuk says.
Which is so obviously wrong it makes me rethink my opinion.
I'm sure, in his inner thoughts, he would have a more nuanced position. Is every business failure, 100% always 100% because the founder/CEO isn't good enough? I'm sure he would agree that it isn't.
But it's true enough, often enough, that it's a solid rule of thumb to use for investment decision-making.
Of the two I think I'd trust Picard.
For those wanting to bypass the paywall.
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