Hey, so first and foremost, I really want to thank everybody. This is outrageously humbling – every single person in this room, since you’re here, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’re going to kill it. And that’s what I want to talk about today, PP…patience and passion. There are way too many people in this room right now that are doing stuff they hate. PLEASE STOP DOING THAT. There is no reason in 2008 to do shit you hate. None. Promise me you won’t. Because you can lose just as much money being happy as hell. Clap that up because it’s some real shit.
I took over my family business, it was doing a couple million dollars a year and in a 7 year period I built it up to a 50 million dollar company, turned 30, freaked out and decided I wanted to do something else. I saw Ze Frank and Amanda Congdon from Rocketboom doing all that stuff and I thought to myself “psh I can do that shit” and so that’s what I decided I wanted to do. I became 1% not happy selling wine and that’s when I decided to take control of my life.
I started Wine Library TV in February, had to do the holiday thing first. By the way, talking about patience, everyone’s like “oh gary you’re so handsome you’re so charismatic I can’t do that shit” and I was like listen, 17 months, 17 months I did wine library tv 5 days a week. I walked away from being CEO of my company to become part of my community.
Let’s talk about community for a second: listen to your users like fried said? absolutely. but giving a shit about your users is way better. People listen but they don’t do anything. Doing something, answering those emails. And it starts with yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “what do i want to do for the rest of my life?” and do that shit. If you love alph, so an alph blog. If you love smurfs, smurf it up. If you love playing video games, learn how to make money playing video games. So many people are saying “i can’t monetize” there’s a billion 70 year old people in control right now. But the number 2 person, that 70 year old lady, she’s going to buy your shit. She’s going to pay to advertise on your website. Stop crying and just keep hustling. Hustle is the most important word ever. Guys, we’re building businesses here.
This isn’t about parties. I used to work in a liquor store from 7am to 10pm, for seven straight years and the only nights I took off were to watch the New York Jets and you know what that did, it made me throw up on myself, so that wasn’t a vacation. But that gave me a platform. That was a stepping stone. The reason I was able to start wine library tv was because I built up this business and I had the cash flow. You need a business model. Building up a bunch of users and then flipping it is not a business model. Make some cash along the way. Fred Wilson and I (who spoke earlier) had coffee the other day and talked about “freemium”. You know, have a free platform that offers something extra to users who pay for it.
I produce the most non-scalable apps on earth. When Facebook launched apps, I was like oh let’s make an app: you ask Gary a wine question, and I answer it. That was eight hours a day for a month. That sucked. And even worse, I would let no one answer the questions except for me. And I’m the same way with email (700-1000 per day). The only thing I fear in this world is internet on planes. Dave, I’m telling you once that happens I’m going to retire from email.
You want to know how to take control of your life? Everybody has time! Stop watching fucking Lost! If you want the “bling bling” if you want to buy the jets and if you want to know how to take control of your life by doing shit you love…WORK. The way you achieve it is by working, don’t expect things to get handed to you.