Is The Thank You Economy A Myth? A Letter to @garyvee

I’ve been mulling over this question for a while in my head. It all started when I sent Gary Vaynerchuk this tweet:

It prompted this response from him later in the day:

This is the reply I sent back to him and am awaiting a response:

I am genuinely interested in getting to the bottom of this question. Is the Thank You Economy broke? Is it a myth? Gary, if you are reading this I would love for you to leave a comment so that we can start a discussion or creating a video with your answer that I can link to.

The reason I am asking this question is because I’ve been running my online empire for over four years now, but all I’ve had along the way is small breaks. Sure I’m making new friends and connecting with some pretty awesome people, but if I am trying to turn this into a profitable online company, it is making me squat. I need something more concrete, something more than just sharing *more* content from even more sources and making friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the connections I’m making online (I’d be completely alone without them), but even they are starting to question the long time benefits and profitability of my journey.

Will this venture actually be able to go full circle and start moving the arrow or just spin my wheels and not move at all? I can wait a lifetime to start reaping the rest of the benefits, but by then I may have moved on to something else. Gamblers know when a game goes south and call it quits, which is basically the same for an entrepreneur. The same idea applies here, but I may be the crazy captain who goes down with the ship.

I’d love to get a discussion going on this, so leave a comment below with your opinion. Is the Thank You Economy a myth?


  1. To put it bluntly (as I always try to do), the "Thank You Economy" isn't broken at all. It's just that you need to produce something worth being thanked for in order for it to pay off. You don't get points for just showing up.

    A comedian can't do the same lousy jokes for years and expect to get anywhere. Even if they chum up with some cool people, promote them & make connections, their comedy act is still crap. It's only the comedians who write *good* jokes and *kill* in front of audiences that benefit from the "Thank You Economy".

    Although Gary V will downplay the cliche "content is king", the crux of his success came from the fact Wine Library TV and his personal videos/talks were actually *awesome* content. Content worth being thanked for. Adding all the social media channels, interactions, communication & connections on *top* of that winning formula just skyrocketed him even further – but it could never single handedly replace the need to create something worth talking about.

  2. Awesome, thanks Gary. I'm in Taiwan though (teaching English for a year through the government and HTC), so we can chat either via Skype or try another method.

    Otherwise, if you want to make a video answering my question or need some clarification from me, please let me know. Hopefully I'm not taking some content you plan on putting in the book, I just want it clarified so we are both on the same page. 🙂

  3. I just stumbled on this after having a convo with the business owner down the hall about the value of relationships, serving others and saying thank you in business. Thanks for the interesting, thought provoking post.Jordan, you seem to be an extremely motivated young professional. Go get 'em, man. Our economy needs more Jordan's. Cheers!

    And, without a doubt, I am eager to read what GaryVee has to offer next.
    My recent post Social media – Whats your end game

    1. Well said. I truly want to see what Gary puts into that book. I've heard alot of things from him, but I want to see something realistic, something to get an idea from so I don't have to stumble around in the dark. 🙂

  4. I hate that I agree with Jordan. Even worse that he's from Lou'vull (and probably lives out in Anchorage or some such place).

    But he's right, Taylor. In the end, it does come down to content. I'm going to use blogging as an example, because we're commenting on a blog, and I'm familiar with you from blogging, etc.

    But blogging is really an aspect of electronic publishing. Perhaps not the most interesting aspect. Certainly a widely known though.

    Let's back up and take Gary Vee for example. Gary founded his business on 2 things:
    1. Commitment to accurate, detailed wine reporting, and
    2. leverage from an existing business.

    In other words, he went very deep into wine, and he could afford to do that because his mortgage was paid for from the existing business.

    How do we learn from that?

    Two ways.

    First, whatever is currently paying the rent, should continue to pay the rent in the interim.

    Second, niche down into something you personally find interesting, which has marketable value. By niche down, I mean explore the dark, dusty nooks and crannies of a topic area. Hyperfocus. Be able to write thousands and thousands of words on it.

    Then present this information to your market in a way they can use it – benefit from it – immediately. Strangely, most won't. But they feel they could, and that produces the same emotional response (now you the secret of the really successful marketers).

    10% will execute and sing your praise.

    Seriously, this is what's working for me right now. Stop by my site and check out Nov 6 2010 article on mentoring. You may find something useful there.

    My recent post Smash Your Learning Curve with Mentoring – Saturday Morning Surfing

  5. and now what you do as part of the "thank you" online economy floats your brand to the top of search. It's a "searchial" internet, so while the 'grassroots" effort in social media (where we are all patting each other on the back telling each other how great we are and marketing ourselves 20% of the time) works, people are finding you because you are relevant. My book "Searchial Marketing" is coming out in 2 weeks. Connect @EyeInfo

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