Gary Vaynerchuk, the chairman of VaynerX and VaynerMedia, has been confirmed to be a keynote speaker at FreightWaves’ Transparency19 conference held at Atlanta, Georgia, next May. Vaynerchuk, who calls himself a ‘hustler’, has built several companies from the ground up, written several New York Times bestsellers, invested in startups including decacorns like Facebook, Twitter and Uber, and has a massive social media following where he shares entrepreneurial advice and business insights.
Though Vaynerchuk had a modest upbringing, he showed early signs of being an entrepreneur, earning thousands of dollars on weekends trading baseball cards and running a flourishing lemonade-stall franchise, all during high school. At the age of 14, he joined Shoppers Discount Liquors, his family-run retail-wine business, with his first job being bagging ice for $2 an hour.
Things changed in the late 1990s when Vaynerchuk foresaw the possibilities of a then-nascent internet, becoming an early e-commerce adopter and channeling sales through the medium, helping the wine business–now monikered the Wine Library–grow from $3 million in annual sales to netting over $60 million by 2005. In 2011, Vaynerchuk announced he was stepping down from Wine Library to concentrate on VaynerMedia, a digital marketing agency which now counts as clients multibillion-dollar enterprises like General Electric, Unilever, and PepsiCo.
Though Vaynerchuk is now immersed in the world of marketing, he has expressed his fascination of the logistics industry, picking out his experience of steering Wine Library through the early days of ecommerce, when the operations of taking online orders, packing and fulfilling orders was an exhaustive and never-before-done process.
Today, the rise of ecommerce behemoths like Amazon and Alibaba has surgically optimized logistics operations, creating a perception among the common populace that logistics could be done cheap and with minimal complexities. Vaynerchuk in a Vimeo video drew parallel for the ecommerce logistics situation that existed in the late 90s with a hypothetical situation where the virtual reality businesses of today would have to give prospective clients a preview by delivering the product to their house in an hour, let them try it and get it back on the same day. “That would be a little bit harder now, and that’s what 1996 was for me,” he added.
“I’ve watched the ecosystem over the last decade, and the one thing I think we are underestimating are actual operations and logistics,” Vaynerchuck said. “I think that the marketing guys get a lot of flair and hype, but I think it is time that our market, the business world starts recognizing its backbone. It’s the operators and logistics infrastructure that are really driving the future economy.”
The essence of brand Vaynerchuk lies in his perpetual move toward disrupting the traditional way of running businesses. He has done this by adopting mediums like the internet–more specifically ecommerce platforms, podcast shows, and social media–to increase effectiveness and thereby solidify his business, be it with Wine Library, or with his more recent ventures like VaynerMedia and VaynerX.
It is this idea of disruption that should fascinate businesses in the logistics vertical; as unlocking the deep-seated tribal knowledge in the industry and acting upon the insights it throws up would be crucial to surviving the logistics of tomorrow.
At Transparency19, Vaynerchuk joins an august bunch of keynote speakers like David Rowan, Andrew Clarke, Shelley Simpson, and Brad Jacobs to throw light on the future of freight movement. Reserve your tickets now and witness the showcasing of the finest of freight innovation at the flagship logistics event of 2019.