The two best speakers I saw at SXSW were Clay Shirkey and Gary Vaynerchuk. I was just reminded how good the Vaynerchuk session was when a friend of mine posted a link to a video snippet from the event on his twitter feed. I've embedded the video here. It literally is only a snippet, however you can get a sense of Gary V's passion for what he does. He was interesting to listen to because of 2 things: (1) he was passionate & (2) he was genuine. When you distill his speech down to it's core, that's pretty much what he preaches as well. This is a guy who will make time for anyone who approaches him and personally follows up on any request that floats by him. I haven't yet reached out to him (that time is coming I'm sure), however I've seen it in action. He personally responded to the aforementioned twitter feed within seconds, for example. I also heard about him, prior to giving his speech, stopping to shake a friend's hand at SXSW as they walked in to the conference room together. As I sat and listened to the horrible Evan Williams keynote interview in the same room, I witnessed Gary V spending a good hour with anyone that came up and talked to him. He patiently answered questions, shook hands, posed for photos and signed stuff. It wouldn't surprise me to see this guy run for office one day. He's a guy that built what he has by working hard at what he loves. There's a lot you can learn from that, and you can read his book Crush It to get any insight directly from him. His web site is at http://garyvaynerchuk.com. Some things that have stuck with me a couple of weeks after the event are:
- If they are your customers, then YOU provide the customer service. Don't pass it off.
- Be real/yourself.
- Keep working hard and don't take shortcuts.
- Don't quit your job until it makes sense, but stick with a vision of making a living off what you love and then quit when you can.
I'm going to post something about Clay Shirkey as well in the coming days.