Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crush It!

Crush It!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion
Written and narrated by Gary Vaynerchuk
Harper Audio
3.70 RH

Gary Vaynerchuk spoke at APAC/BEA in NYC (in May) and my boss, Josh Stanton, attended the packed/SRO event. I'm not exactly sure what Gary said in his speech, but Josh came back charged with enthusiasm for social media. Upon his return to Ashland, OR, Josh approached me with a vague proposal about me handling social media for the company I work for (Blackstone Audio, Inc.) and encouraged me to read Gary Vaynerchuk's book, CRUSH IT! I actually dnloaded the book from audible (it's not an audio that our company carries - and no, the irony does not escape me there) and I have to tell you that I'm pretty sure Josh would not have recommended this book if he had actually read it himself! This is not a handbook for corporate types seeking to get rich quick using Facebook and Twitter. It is, however, a guide encouraging individuals to consider using the many social media platforms at their disposal to recreate their identities in the business world by hewing closer to their own passions.

Crush It! is, in equal parts, autobiographical, informational and motivational. The audiobook chronicles the success of Gary Vaynerchuk's endeavor to promote wine via social media tools (check out and the correlative success of his family's discount liquor store. Success stories such as Mr. Vaynerchuk’s are essential to the promotion of the book’s premise to prove that he isn’t blowing smoke up your chimney. He is the living proof that the approach works.

The information that should be gleaned from Crush It! is not about the specific social media platforms that Gary Vaynerchuk used in his success story (“do what speaks to your DNA!” and, moreover the specific platforms that he used may be passé by the time you get around to launching your own social media campaign,) but the overall business strategy of using social media to sculpt your identity in the business world. Gary Vaynerchuk inspires the listener to abandon traditional (and soon to be obsolete) business models and practices, to work on branding yourself, to monetize your passion and to go on to live a happier and enriched life. Listen to the audiobook, but don't get too caught up in taking notes. There is an Appendix A near the end of the book that you can transcribe if you need to.

Gary Vaynerchuk often goes off-script ("that's how he rolls") and the result is a much more personable presentation than what the print edition has to offer. I like that; but that said, Gary Vaynerchuk comes across has not merely impassioned, but a bit hyper. His evangelistic zeal is an acquired taste, though I can definitely see how a live presentation would get an audience all fired up (After listening to the audio, I was ready to roll!)


  1. I enjoyed the audiobook version as well. Crush It was one of the books selected for our company's book club. Lots of motivation packed into those few hrs. If you are looking for something more geared to social media you might want to try Socialnomics by Erik Qualman.

  2. Thanks! I'm pretty new to the usage of social media as a business tool. I see that Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business (by Erik Qualman) is available on (Unabridged and narrated by Nick Sullivan) so I think I'll have to check it out before PodCamp5!