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The VoiceFirst Roundtable - Episode 10

Host: Bradley Metrock (CEO, Score Publishing)

Guest: Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO, VaynerMedia)

Duration: 13 minutes, 25 seconds

Podcast Links:

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YouTube (+ closed captioning)


Bradley Metrock: [00:00:11] Hi, and welcome back to The VoiceFirst Roundtable, Episode 10, for December 2017. My name is Bradley Metrock - I'm CEO of a company called Score Publishing, based in Nashville, Tennessee.


Bradley Metrock: [00:00:25] My guest today is Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, celebrity technology investor, celebrity entrepreneur. I had the opportunity to travel to Chattanooga where VaynerMedia has one of its four offices in the United States to conduct this interview that you're about to hear with Gary, one-on-one. Greatly appreciate Gary for setting the time aside; greatly appreciate the team at VaynerMedia for making it possible.


Bradley Metrock: [00:00:52] Our sponsor for The VoiceFirst Roundtable, as well as all VoiceFirst.FM programming, is VoiceXP. Bob Stolzberg, Mark Tucker, and the whole VoiceXP team have really executed throughout the year to become one of the real breakout software-as-a-service companies. They've been called one of the more innovative software companies in the space. They've developed Alexa skills for all sorts of enterprise business and brands, from CenturyLink, Arizona State University, and even one of the more innovative Alexa skills we've seen the whole year, what they did with Chingy. When your brand or your business are ready to adopt voice, email, reach out to Bob, reach out to Mark, reach out to voiceXP...or you can even say "Alexa, start VoiceXP" to learn more. I really encourage you to check out what those guys are doing - it's phenomenal.


Bradley Metrock: [00:01:45] This episode of The VoiceFirst Roundtable concludes Season 1 of the show. We will be back in January with an all new season, and really looking forward to it.


Bradley Metrock: [00:01:55] With that, we'll get to the interview with Gary. Enjoy.


Bradley Metrock: [00:01:59] Thank you for setting the time aside.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:02:01] Glad to be here.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:02:02] So this show is called The VoiceFirst Roundtable. It's part of VoiceFirst.FM, which is a network that I started after talking to you back on May 1st...thanks to Ted Alling inviting me to come hear you talk to the Dynamo folks. Since then, it's just been a whirlwind.


Bradley Metrock: [00:02:19] You had preached, you know, just your general enthusiasm and sharing knowledge...the idea of everybody should start a podcast, and there's no reason to wait. Might as well start.


Bradley Metrock: [00:02:33] So I drove back to Nashville, which is where I live with my family, and started VoiceFirst.FM that day. This month, we'll cross 50,000 downloads, across 46 countries.


Bradley Metrock: [00:02:43] So, in many ways, you're the founding father of VoiceFirst.FM. So, if I don't say anything else the whole time...thank you for that contribution.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:02:52] I remember your face and body language in that talk, and I genuinely believed you were going to do something about it. And so I don't think I'm the founding father - you are. I think I might be the seed of the inspiration for the founding father. But one of my great ambitions in life is to take advantage of the communication style that I have, that clearly resonates with a lot of people, and get them to do things that...the fact that your grandkids might say something to my grandkids is something I think about all the time. So thanks for that. Ready get into the show.


Bradley Metrock: [00:03:28] Yeah. So you're greatly appreciated.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:03:30] Thank you.


Bradley Metrock: [00:03:31] Not just for voice, but just for what you mean to entrepreneurs. You're very generous with your knowledge and your spirit. It''s rare.'s appreciated.


Bradley Metrock: [00:03:44] You're very interested in voice. You have made a career out of being out in front of technology. What attracted you to voice?


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:03:51] The passive nature of the consumption, which means it equates to time savings, and my belief that time is the number one variable asset that we continue to gravitate towards, even more than money. Probably other than health, the most important thing to us. And the fact that voice, written, and video consumption in our society are the three pillars of how we consume content. Like, you know, it was not very long ago - I think in historic terms - it was not a very long time ago that radio was the driving force of communication in our society. Just eighty years ago.


Bradley Metrock: [00:04:32] Sure.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:04:34] And I think there's a reason for that. Obviously the television had not been invented. But print was around. And very important...and still is.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:04:44] There's three ways we communicate, and there's three ways we consume. And I think that it's exciting that the audio part is innovating right now, and is cruising, and on fire. And it's a very special era right now in voice.


Bradley Metrock: [00:05:00] The term "voice-first," I believe, was coined by a guy named Brian Roemmele, who I think that you've met. And, you know, it's just an interesting sort of thesis: that when we're born, all we have is our mother's voice. And then it doesn't take us long to develop an inner voice. So it stands to reason that as computing evolves over time, it will approach being voice-first. We're living through an exciting time.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:05:24] I think so too. A lot is going on in our society, and technology is exposing a lot of things. And creating new ideas and thoughts. I mean, did you ever think in your life fifty-thousand different sessions of people listening to you - whether that's 31,000 people, or 17, or there's somebody in Dubai right now listening to this...


Bradley Metrock: [00:05:46] I thought it would take 50,000 years to have 50,000 downloads so...


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:05:50] What's the best email you've gotten so far?


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:05:53] Oh the emails have been great. You know, a lot of e-mails from people wanting to come on one of our shows.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:06:01] Which, if you remember, was a big thesis of mine, when you move first in a category. It's leverage.


Bradley Metrock: [00:06:06] Sure. It is. And it allows you to play an interesting role in sort of the storytelling of this industry. We've had tons of companies on, you know, whether it's This Week In Voice, or The VoiceFirst Roundtable, or The Alexa Podcast, or some of our other shows, and these companies are just heading like a rocket ship straight up, and it's just fun to learn about all of them and participate in the field in that way.


Bradley Metrock: [00:06:34] So you went to the Amazon Alexa TechStars incubator.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:06:38] I did.


Bradley Metrock: [00:06:39] Tell me about that.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:06:40] Met with ten or eleven companies, building on top of the Alexa platform. Really interesting stuff. From companies that support kids reading with ambient sound to the exact words you are reading at that moment, which made me realize "oh my God.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:06:54] That's Novel Effect.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:06:54] Yeah. Incredible company. To just a lot of people thinking about entertainment, escapism, gameplay. I was very inspired. It felt very much like social 2007 / 2008. The consumer entrepreneurs that I want to spend time with are people developing on top of voice platforms, period, end of story.


Bradley Metrock: [00:07:18] That's fantastic.


Bradley Metrock: [00:07:20] It's the perception of a lot of folks who come on our shows that Amazon is leading the marketplace. Plus it's my personal perception. Is that your perception?


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:07:27] Yes. But that has a lot more to do with my blind belief in Jeff Bezos, more than an indication against Google or with Apple's delays. You know, it's tough to underestimate Google or Apple, or what is Facebook doing, that we don't know?


[00:07:47] [Asked about coffee.]


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:07:49] Yeah, just coffee...thank you.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:07:49] Sorry podcast. We're keeping it real here. Yes...Amazon Alexa.


Bradley Metrock: [00:07:56] Do you think Apple has any hope of competing?


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:07:58] Yes...but not really. Let me explain: I don't like Apple's new product DNA right now. I think Tim Cook is probably a good CEO in a lot of ways that I don't understand. I'm very serious about that.


Bradley Metrock: [00:08:15] Sure.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:08:16] I don't know. I don't know how he is. You know, he seems like a great human. But I don't understand managing Wall Street, and saying...if you told me "same-store sales at Apple are up 80 percent," I'd be like "oh, OK." It's not what I care about. I care about consumer and culture. I don't...he doesn't have that gear, and I don't know whether he bought Beats by Dre to have Jimmy Iovine play that role. But I don't underestimate Apple, because they could literally have a product that's so bonkers, and when it comes out, delayed and all, it could just be (explosion sound). Right?


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:08:54] It's stupid to underestimate Sony in the 90s, and the people that did were really sad when PlayStation came out. So I don't want to underestimate Apple.


Bradley Metrock: [00:09:04] Sure.


Bradley Metrock: [00:09:05] But, I know, it's funny: I'm going on intuition...I'm trying to figure out if I loved or hated that the HomePod's delayed. In the one sense, I think it clearly means that they weren't taking it serious enough. At the second part, I love that maybe they held it up to not be exposed as crap and really start the process of their downfall. And maybe you're taking it serious now? I don't know. But Amazon feels really right to me.


Bradley Metrock: [00:09:33] It feels right to me too. They're blazing a trail. And I think time will tell with the HomePod. It feels like a product we may never ever see...


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:09:46] Nah....ah?


Bradley Metrock: [00:09:48] Hopefully it's not vaporware. We spoke earlier today, on the last episode of the season to This Week In Voice, all about that. That'll be interesting to watch them in 2018.


Bradley Metrock: [00:09:55] Let me ask you one more thing. So in an episode of your DailyVee - episode 261 to be exact, from July 7th - there is a scene in that video where you are having a meeting, and there's an Echo Show behind you, and you're asking the Echo Show, in real-time, information related to the meeting that you're having. And then you make the off-handed comment that this is the most productive meeting that you've ever had, half-way in jest.


Bradley Metrock: [00:10:25] My question: Amazon just announced Alexa for Business, and they're going to be making a lot of push into that. And plus, the Echo Show in itself is a transformative device. What are your hopes for how Alexa - specifically, Amazon, with Alexa - impacts enterprise, and our lives at work?


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:10:45] Lack of friction. Speed. Cost efficiencies. What everybody wants from technology. I want Alexa, or Google, or Apple, or somebody else out of left field, to make a device that when I walk into an office, it says "Alexa, put up the deck." Do you know how long it takes to get AirPlay to work?


Bradley Metrock: [00:11:07] Sure.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:11:07] I want to say "Alexa, where's Mickey Cloud right now?" That's a lot faster than Tyler reaching out, and having access to Mickey's calendar. Like...voice, bro. Like, I don't think people get it. Like, it's just's oxygen. It's all-encompassing.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:11:25] I want to interact with...we all love interacting with a computer. Take it for what it is - we love it. Do you want to go to the calendar, and see where you wrote on October 3rd you have a meeting with Charles Dodson at 4:00? No. We like technology. It's good. And voice is faster.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:11:46] It's much faster for me, right now, to say "Alexa, what am I doing on October 14, 2018?" And get answers right now. I cannot do that faster by taking this phone right now, opening my calendar app, and going there.


Bradley Metrock: [00:11:57] Sure.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:11:58] That is it. Logistics, that mean nothing, that technology should be solving, not human beings being paid low wages to manage.


Bradley Metrock: [00:12:08] And that's something that VaynerMedia is going to continue to be involved in?


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:12:11] Yeah. I mean, we're an Alexa partner. We are built...we are aggressively becoming a voice AOR for a lot of our clients (Agency Of Record, for people at home)...that means that we're the shop that's doing that work. It's a huge, huge bet for us.


Bradley Metrock: [00:12:29] Thank you for the time.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:12:30] Thank you.


Bradley Metrock: [00:12:31] Yep, appreciate it. Thanks Gary.


Gary Vaynerchuk: [00:12:31] Thanks buddy. So happy for you.


Bradley Metrock: [00:12:31] Special thanks to Gary V for letting us come and conduct the interview in his Chattanooga office. We greatly appreciate it, and we appreciate all the folks at VaynerMedia who helped make it possible.


Bradley Metrock: [00:12:48] That's it for The VoiceFirst Roundtable for Season 1. We look forward to coming back, and getting Season 2 underway beginning in January, so we're looking forward to that.


Bradley Metrock: [00:13:00] For The VoiceFirst Roundtable, thank you for listening, and until next time. 

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