Why the Internet & the Blockchain Will Kill Middlemen | Blackrock Keynote 2018


– It was, you know, it was probably the most important shift in my career because, not because of it started the notoriety that I got on the internet, it’s because YouTube selling to Google for $1.7 billion, you know, there wasn’t a single video on YouTube that had a million views when I was on. There was no videos that
were 20 minutes long. YouTube literally flew me out to explain why I was making
videos over 10 minutes long. And when it sold, no question, that singular day was
the day that I realized, huh, I have some skill, you know? What it made me do was
look back and say, you know launching an ecommerce website in 1996 was probably pretty progressive after all. Doing email marketing when nobody was doing it was probably right, and buying those Google AdWords the day Google AdWords came out, that was probably smarter than I thought. It was no question the tipping
point where I was like hey, I have something else going on here other than I’m a good wine merchant. This is more macro, and obviously, reading the articles of
that Google purchase, there were a couple that referenced, and it was the first
time I had ever seen it, this term angel investor. Because I think a lot of people, I think people kind of, the people that know my story, they don’t realize how insular I was. I wasn’t in Silicon Valley. I was in New Jersey. I was in a cocoon of the wine business. I was super undereducated. So, I didn’t even really
understand the world, to be very frank. For example, even a year later
when I invested in Facebook, had I known of even the most basic concept of carrying people’s money and making a 20% on the
backend, I would’ve, I don’t even want to know
what would have happened because I basically bet my life
that Facebook was gonna win. And to just think about even getting $5 million of the liquor
industry’s rich guys’ and gals’ money and having another
million on the backend. Just to give you context, that would’ve translated
into $180 million. I mean, it was, it’s really fun for me to think about the brilliance of the things
that I think I’ve done and the insanity and basic-ness. And I think that there’s a level of, and I’m still that guy right now. There’s a deep commitment, an obsession, to the end consumer and
almost nothing else. What that means is I’ve gotta go through my own patterns to get educated. And so, yeah, I was on,
I was, I saw YouTube. It was three months old. Nothing was going on. There was maybe some random
article on like SlashDot, you know about it, back
in the day, nerd stuff. And I was like this is, this is it. This thing is it, and
then right behind that, I decided I would be an angel investor, and if I felt that
feeling of why I did ecom, email, Google AdWords, and YouTube, if I had that feeling,
really, I would compare it, like the only comp that I’ve seen that I’ve consumed is the way Clive Davis, in his documentary, talked about, you know, Mariah Carey or Celine Dion. I genuinely believe I trade on intuition and ear and understanding
of what you’re gonna do before you do it, the way I’m gonna trade voice going forward for the next decade. That’s how it happened. So, I started The Wine Show and it changed the course of my career. – It was a dimly-lit room. I recently went back
and watched episode one. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend checking it out just for its pure authenticity and rawness of what it’s like to get started
pioneering something new. Then to come to see you do a
thousand of those shows later, which is a level of commitment. – Yeah, I mean, jumping
to number three, I mean, it’s staggering to me that people don’t understand the
variable that hard work is. It’s stunningly funny to me that people don’t want to acknowledge it. People love to talk about working smart. People love it, and that’s fine. I think that’s exactly right, but you don’t know a single person that has ever become successful without putting in an
obnoxious amount of work. It doesn’t exist. You know people that have
wealth that were handed it, but you know nobody who’s earned it without putting in the work. And I think, you know, and
the reason I like it so much, even at the face of
pushback in today’s very, live your life, work-life
balance environment, and I love it. I love it, I’m thrilled for that. You need to be self-aware. I love it ’cause it feels
the most controllable. It feels a hell of a
lot more exciting to me giving advice and say if you’re not happy, work three more hours a day
than it is go get smarter. – What year was it that you
launched that first show? – February 21st, 2006. Watching what’s happening with
entrepreneurship right now is very exciting and concerning
all at the same time. You know, I’m 42 years old. I was an immigrant from the Soviet Union. Education was the way out
and I was a D and F student. And so, basically, what
that meant if you grew up in the ’80s and early
’90s was every parent and teacher thought I was gonna be a loser because it was a binary
game of if you don’t go to a great school,
you can’t win in life. It was just, you know, for
everybody over 40 in here, you understand that, it was binary. There was no conversation of entrepreneur. The first time, you know, entrepreneur’s an extremely new term. Even I called myself a
businessman not an entrepreneur. Entrepreneur meant you were a loser, like you had a card that said you were, it meant that you like lived
on a beach and had an idea. It was so terrible. And now everybody’s trying to be one. And I think we’re over
correcting in the same way that entrepreneurs tried
to be good students and that was a bad idea. You’ve got a lot of people that should work at BlackRock and are actually trying
to be entrepreneurs. They will fail because they’re incredible number threes, sevens, nines, 27s. Being a number one is a
totally different DNA trait. It means you love getting
punched in the mouth. It means you don’t care about
what other people think. It means so many things
that we don’t talk about, and I think a lot of people will go into very bad mental places in their mid… First of all, if you look at the current state of a 22-year-old entrepreneur, the scariest part is if
they are overeducated, they’re going in a system that they’ve never had any real adversity. The game is so big. If you come from the right family, you feel no feelings of pushback, and then you go into the wild and you’ve got a business, and the market, the market doesn’t give a
fuck about your grandfather. And I’m watching it every
day and it’s not fun. It’s not fun for a 24-year-old, 11 months in, realizing that they’re soft and not as smart as
they thought they were, and their idea of building the Uber for laundromats is a bad idea. I’ve been chasing attention my whole life. This isn’t new. This isn’t email and Google. This is, I used to do that. I would literally try to figure out physically with your eyes as a driver, like if you were looking at that tree or that tree or that post. And then I thought oh my God, that’s what I did at
baseball card shows at 11. That’s why I didn’t set up my table for the first four hours
while everybody else did and would walk the floor and watch what people were reacting to. So, that I would go back
and set up my table. Oh shit, that’s why I dominated
in my dad’s liquor store because when I was 14 and I
stood behind the register. I would watch people walk into the store and how they would navigate. Oh shit, that’s why my
websites did so well because I was doing UI and UX before I realized what UI and UX was, and it all came back, and probably in the
last four or five years, I finally articulated, which
is like fuck, it’s all empathy. This is all empathy. I’m a good leader. I have a good community. I’m great with consumers because
I deploy empathy at scale. It is always about them, never about me. You want me to save you
a lot of time, BlackRock? You know why you can’t get
people interested in wealth? ‘Cause it’s about you not them. You’re trying to figure out how to make it valuable for you to get
them interested in it and what’s in it for you. The end. You haven’t reversed engineered
what they give a shit about, and then all those people in that video, that’s cute in front of a camera, but that’s not the truth of how they’re gonna navigate
their lives actually. – Okay, so, um, flowers (audience laughs) to lemonade to baseball
cards to a slight tangent, people that see BlackRock videos, eventually to wine and then to, I mean, and I love this evolution
from Gary Vaynerchuk to Vayner to just Gary Vee. – Yeah. – Just, like, where did
you get your hustle? – I think work eth… You know, I’m, again,
I’m not a great student, but it seems to me, at least in the ethos, that a lot of people agree
that work ethic is taught. And so, that’s very easy. My parents. I mean, it’s such a big deal. It’s such a big deal. I mean, I didn’t even see my dad. My dad and I slept in the same roof every day of my life for the first 18 years of my life, every day. We just didn’t, we took one family vacation. My dad never traveled once, and I never saw him
until I was 14 years old. He left before I woke up. He got home after I fell
asleep, and he was a merchant. Right? He left at 7:00. He got home at 11:00 p.m. That was his life, and
he worked every day. My parents are from the Soviet Union. So, even though they grew
up in the ’80s and ’90s, which is still more common than today, but they lived that classic
1947 separate life, right? Like completely separate,
like two separate entities. My mom raised the three of us. We never had, there was, you
know, my mom did everything. I don’t even know how to
do laundry to this day. She did absolutely everything. She worked from the moment she woke up ’til the end of night. And so, my parents– – Is she still doing the laundry? – I wish. No, but you know, I think, I think, I think work ethic, my
hustle comes from my parents. It’s very clear. I mean, you know, it’s funny. Me, my mom and dad, when
it’s just the three of us, not my sister and brother,
which happens rarely, but if we are, somewhere
within the first hour, we’ll start making fun of each other in such a loving way which is like fuck, we’re just a bunch of working dogs. You know? Like we just work. Like, you know, and then I’m competitive with my dad and him with me. And so, he worked so much. So, that I think, you know, I have the luxury of the internet and travel to outwork my dad, right? Which has been like a really
funny thing with me and him in the last five years which is him conceding that I work harder. It’s probably the most devastating thing that’s ever happened to him, and easily the most gratifying thing that’s ever happened to me. So, my parents. – Okay. So, I think by now we have a good picture of who is Gary Vee. Let’s pivot to present day, right? You got loads of books. – Yep. – Hard copy books. – Yeah. – You’re also an online social media guru. I’d love to know your
view on like what’s the, where do you see the purpose
of print today in book form, and then just a couple of the key things that you think are most important from your series of books
that you’ve produced. – I think that, and this
could be a good takeaway. As I was thinking about your
business and I think about, you know, financial services as a whole and just everything to be very frank, what do I see in books? I think it’s a lack of friction to somebody who wants to read a book. Meaning my information needs to be empathetic to
the way people consume. So, if there’s enough
people that want to read a book in hard copy, I don’t have an ideological point of view on technology or how one should consume. I could give a fuck if
you wanna listen to it on Kindle or audiobook
or read a hard copy. You know, to me, the greatest job for all of us is to create no friction to
the way that somebody wants it. The place of a book in 2018
is a lot of people read books, and so I don’t have a problem producing my content in that form. – Gotcha, key themes from those books. – I think key themes are
self-awareness, patience, lack of ideological point of
view on what’s happening here. – How do you teach self-awareness? – I have no idea. – Don’t know? – I think my little part in it is I wanna bring
awareness to its strength, and then maybe that means something. I sure know that it wasn’t alpha male to talk about empathy and
gratitude and self-awareness. And so, if there’s a bunch of people who think I’m cool that are 17-year-olds that now think that’s cool and put more effort into that, that would be good over
putting cash to your ear or champagne bottles or going, like jumping over the fence
at a private plane place to take a photo like you’re
going on a private plane for your Instagram or all that other horse shit that people think is cool. I don’t know how you teach it, but I definitely know it
needs to be talked about. – Okay. There’s actually an over-under on Gary dropping F bombs
today for this event. You dropped about three right now. I’m not gonna tell you
what the over-under is. So, let’s talk, let’s– – You clearly have the over because bringing awareness to it, you want me to feed it. (audience laughs) – Good call, good call. I too am competitive. All right, so, less about
things that you’ve done. More about what you see in this space of whatever industry it is that you think are the next successful
products to come on, right? You’ve had a good nose sniffing
out some stuff in the past. What do you think is next? – I have, not for a little while now, in a release stage ’cause the thing of the supply-and-demand curve
of entrepreneurs got broken, and now I’m guessing versus betting on proper opportunities, I am absolutely gonna
jump back in when the apps that are built on top of Google Home and Amazon Alexa happen. I believe the next Spotify, Snapchat, Instagram, Waze, Venmo, Wish, will be built on top of Alexa and Google. I think everybody here will overly engage with apps built on top of voice devices and I view the Alexa and the Google Home and the Apple Pod the same way I view the iPhone and the Android device. I think the stakes are
gonna be very high in voice. I think a lot of people
are gonna be crushed, including things that, like I’m fascinated that
I think Google Search in a visual form is in deep
shit which is wild, right? ‘Cause that, this is what’s so fun about getting older. You get to see things go the whole loop, for me to be able to live through Google Search destroying things and then becoming the Yellow
Pages itself because of voice, it’s going to be a unbelievable thing to watch from beginning to end. But that is happening,
I promise all of you, in the next 12 to 15 years. You’ll be stunned by how much your search is done based on you just talking in your room not
by you grabbing your phone and doing ’cause it’s just faster. The reason you all text now is it was faster than a phone call. Voice will be faster than texting, thus you will always choose speed. You will always choose, you will choose speed over everything. When I started, you know,
I was early in Uber. When I started seeing
who was taking Ubers, AKA back to wealth, people
that couldn’t afford it. It wasn’t me judging people’s, you know, the great thing that
this room will struggle with on the BlackRock and financial side is people want to be, people want, you want them to be financially fit and smarter about wealth
without understanding what people actually value. People talk because of social
pressure around valuing money. Most actually don’t. So let’s, you wanna really, you
want a breakthrough insight? That’s one. Because if you actually accept that truth, you will start navigating
in a very different way because it’s not about your
self-interest and your ideology. It’s about the reality of the consumer and then you can start
creating services around that. – Gary, let’s peel that
onion a little bit. How do you define wealth? – The ability to do anything
I want at all times. So for me, that doesn’t
take that much money. You have to understand how to
run your own personal P and L. I know plenty of people that make $9 million a year who have
golden handcuffs, right? ‘Cause they’ve created too much costs to
maintain their lifestyle. So for me, I got lucky because I’m
addicted to the game not to the trophy, and I understood that after I dropped the Yankees and the Rangers after they won their championships, but I’m still feverish about
the Jets and the Knicks. I’m in it for the chase which is, geez, if you can get into that, you’re set because it really changes it. That’s how I define it. I define it as the power to
be able to do whatever I want. People are like you’re so transparent. You’re so authentic. I’m like sure, because I’m not worried about the ramifications of anything I say. I mean, if you weren’t scared of anything, you would tell the truth
all the time too, you know? – Is your end game still
to buy the New York Jets? – Absolutely. I really think I can. I want to, but most of all,
it’s fun to try, right? Like I love that I sold
a significant piece of VaynerMedia which everybody here, my financial advisors would’ve told me it was stupid and they
would’ve been right. I sold it when it was doing $14 million, and it’s gonna do $140 million this year, and I knew that was gonna happen. I did it ’cause I sold
a piece to Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, and over the last six years, I’ve integrated myself into the NFL family in a way that’s going to
matter because guess what, it’s an old boys’ club. In 22 years when I have
the wealth to get in, they’re gonna have to say
yes, and they say no, a lot. So, you have to know
what you’re playing for. – Gotcha. What if you’re playing
for the Premier League? Which team would you buy? What would be the end game there? – So, you know, we were
talking about this, and if people really are
following me on social, I’m very much trying to figure out my team because I realize, you know, right now, I’m
coming here every three months. This will be Musa Tariq’s year. I’m starting to realize
that this is gonna end up being an every six week thing. You know, I’m a diehard fan. I will tell you, the one
thing I envy tremendously. So, here’s what I don’t love
about the Premier League. It’s about money. The same reason I don’t like baseball is I don’t like that people
buy championships here. And that, in itself, eliminates a lot of the merit and excitement. And I’m aware that, once in a blue moon, a team will come along
and do what happened a couple of years ago,
but for the most part, this is a money game, and so I hate that. But what I do love is that you actually give a fuck about your teams here, in a way that is super different than what is going on in the US. There isn’t diehard fans. You know, it’s real religion
here, so it’s awesome. So, I wanna pick a team. Tottenham is like on top of my list. The Spurs have my attention because they haven’t won in so long. – Any fans in the room, Tottenham? – Tottenham is super at the top because of the lack of a
championship in the last 40 years. But I’m really thinking about going for the ultimate climb
which is what if I go to the Third Division and
see it all the way through? That’s kind of where
my head’s at right now. – Okay. – To me, if you are not relevant
as a human or a business or an organization on Facebook and Google and Instagram and LinkedIn and YouTube, you actually don’t exist. And so, I think it’s the
current state of the Internet, the way I think voice will
be the next current state of the Internet until we
potentially move to Blockchain which will then change this whole game. It’s insane to me that, if you told me, hey, Gary, do you want
to be on a Top 10 podcast or do you want a video to show up in the number one Instagram account or do you wanna be on the front
page of The New York Times, it’s like a laughable choice of the two. And so, I think it’s the
current state of attention. I think it has all the leverage. I find it funny that people
in business think Facebook is a nuance or can’t change their business yet the CEO has to sit
in front of Congress because the American institution
think it’s powerful enough to overthrow the fucking government. Where do you think Brexit comes from? Where do you think nationalism
is being born from? This is it. This is the television
and radio of our society. The Internet has won. There is no debate and
everybody in this room is grossly underestimating its power. This, what we’re doing right
now physically, is secondary. And the sooner you understand
that the more likely you’ll be successful in
whatever your ambitions are, whether they’re to sell sneakers or to raise money for the PTA or become the mayor of your town, this right here, the physical
shit, it’s secondary. You may not like it. It doesn’t matter what you think. This is where our lives are playing out and so I think underestimating
the power of Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and podcasting and just the content of the
Internet is at your own peril. – [Interviewer] Great. Perspectives on financial
services as a sector? What’s working, what’s not working? What would you do differently? – Things that are not working, in general, there’s an audacity that I think is an enormous vulnerability. I think, not unique to financial services, anybody in the world that cares
about the financial health of their business in
an every 90-day window is completely fucked. And so, my biggest concern
for financial services is most of them play in
a Wall Street environment and they do nothing
but short-term behavior which is defense in the
face of the biggest change in our society. It is laughable that Venmo was not created by a financial service. It is laughable for financial
services to be as naive as they are about Blockchain
and what that actually means. It’s gonna eliminate all your margins. I mean, you know, look, what’s not working is not
unique to financial services. Anybody that is in a lead position financially in the world today
has the resources tied up in something that has lost its leverage. And so, that’s a problem. And here’s what I think is funny. Why are we so entitled to have the world at a standstill during our lives? Meaning, I want you to level up what I’m actually talking about which is why do we get to have peace and why do we have to get continuity financially or economically? Like why are we not
supposed to be a generation that goes through a great depression? Why, why, why, why? In America, I’m like, why
can’t we be the generation that watches our empire falling? I mean, anybody that doesn’t understand that China is gonna win is just naive. This place used to be number one. Then America became number one. And the same reason this
place lost its leadership is the same reason America
is gonna lose its number one. It’s called entitlement. It’s called too much prosperity which then creates a
generation that doesn’t know how to fight for it. And so, that’s more on a country basis. I think this is a macro
thing lifted above all that. And so, you know, look, my friends, when you make
money by being in the middle and the Internet and Blockchain come along and they’re the actual
middle, you’re in trouble. So, you need to figure out what the hell you’re actually doing in providing value. And the fact that you amassed a mote that gave you an advantage to, and that became your middle,
that’s a bad business when that doesn’t bring any value anymore. So, let me tell you what
I do think is working and I do think BlackRock has
done this incredibly well and I am sure for the
most financially rigorous, it has been something that
you have looked down on because you don’t understand
what’s actually happening, which is, I think what
BlackRock has done well, let’s speak about BlackRock specifically, is it’s actually built a brand. And if you actually understand what’s happening in technology, you will realize very quickly that brand is the only thing left. And so, I think that it’s given
the organization permission to create other services if
they actually understand. The problem is companies
in financial service, like every other company, and Chase is a big
client of ours in the US, and we do some work with RBS here, I mean, it’s just so obvious,
you can’t hold onto things that are high margin when you
already see the alternative in your face for the consumer
and that’s the vulnerability. – What about other brands
outside of BlackRock in the industry? – I think everybody’s
doing the same thing, including BlackRock. I think that there is a tone-deaf nature to the way we communicate to consumers that comes from an ivory tower
and is completely predicated on self-interest and then,
even worse creatively, sits with five or six
people who love the power of having their subjective point of view be the king or queen of the decision who then also are putting
out very safe content and vanilla content which ends up meaning nothing to anybody. And, because they’re scared to lose, do anything that would risk
this cushy life they have to be the person that says
the video is nice or not. – Gotcha. Okay, let’s open it up to the room and I do see Mark Adams
almost in the front row who’s probably bound to have a question, not to put you on the spot. But I see other hands going up as well so let’s just start
right there on the left or straight to Mark. – [Man] Hi, Gary, I’m laughing
here because this is fire. – Thank you, man. – [Man] Bro, like, I love the way you talk about things that, I feel like you’re very much
into democratizing power and I want you to go there for a second. Just talk about that for a second. You talk about entitlement and the fact that you were
coming from the Soviet Union and the hustle, and I love
that because it goes against, you know, we live in a class society here where certain things are
about who your grandfather was and could you maybe elaborate
a little bit more on that? – You know what’s funny? It’s not an ideology. It’s a practicality. I’ll be very honest with you, I have a funny feeling if
I was born 40 years ago, I would be excited about classism. I’m not excited about the
democratization of everything. I just know it’s happened. It’s called the Internet. Sorry, like it’s over. Do you understand this has just started? If you’re on defense to
what’s been happening, right, from a classism or I’ve put my… Retail. If you have 8,000 leases. Everybody talks about
retail is dead, TV is dead, and then everybody will
counter with, yeah, it’s so dead that it’s still
doing 80% of the retail. They don’t understand when
you go from doing 100% of the retail to 80% of the retail, when you run an actual P and
L, all it needs to do is go to 79% for the whole thing to break because your leases then can’t support, your cogs break. When you can’t get out of your lease, but your foot traffic goes down by 1%, you’re out of business. I think because of the way I communicate and because of my jersey-ness
and my immigrant-ness, I don’t think people pay
attention to what I’m talking, I think they downsize the
complete and utter understanding I have for psychology and business. And I love that, I probably manifest and
force being underestimated because it’s an advantage. Ask me why I’m willing
to be self-promotional, but you know very little
about VaynerMedia. It’s ’cause I’m smart, ’cause I didn’t want
anybody to know anything about VaynerMedia cause
it’s way more dangerous than the incumbents realize and the more I can make them
think that I’m a charlatan, the more time I have to
fucking destroy them. (audience laughing) – Let’s go to the next question. – Gary.
– Yes. – Hi.
– Hi. – Big fan.
– Thank you. – [Man] I think you’re
probably one of the best content marketers out there just because you’re so damned efficient. – Thanks. – [Man] You got a podcast
which you used to create a book which has a hashtag as a name. Wonderful. In AskGaryVee, #AskGaryVee, you talk a lot about clouds and dirt. – Yes. – [Man] I think clouds is thinking big, but I think dirt is the work which you also talk a lot about, right. I’m really curious, if you
could just give me an example of what do you consider to be the work and what is the right work? How can people differentiate
between just monotony and doing the right work? – That’s a great question. Let me give you a clouds and dirt thing. I decide that voice is the next frontier. The dirt is I do a podcast. We build an Alexa skill. I spend tons of time watching how people react to other Alexas. I fly to Seattle for two hours just to meet the tech stars Alexa team on my dime, which is rare
these days, and fly back. I follow up my macro
thesis with micro work to close the gaps because what I realized over the last 20 years is, you
know how many people in here have opinions about things
based on headline reading not practitionership. I don’t want that vulnerability. I don’t like when I hang
out with very smart people and then I realize they have no idea what they’re talking about in
the area that I understand. And I knew this about wine. Growing up in the wine business,
I became deeply educated and, all of a sudden, I started
meeting fancy three-star Michelin sommeliers and
I realized, actually, he or she doesn’t know what
the fuck they’re talking about. They’re using their brand, their status, but they’re headline. So much bravado. I stay in my lane. There’s a ton of stuff around wealth that I can never talk about
at anywhere close to the level that the people in this room understand. Right, so I stay in my lane. The right work is very subjective. For example, all my fancy friends think me community managing
and replying to everybody on Instagram is the stupidest
use of my two hours. I think it’s the reason I’m
the best consumer researcher in the world. Who’s right, who’s wrong? I don’t know. It all plays out in the end. I think what we need to do
is not judge ourselves overly in small pockets. I think people start dwelling,
when they look back and say, oh, the last three months,
I wasn’t doing smart work. It’s three months out of a 100 years. So, I think judgment on one self is an important conversation around this otherwise you start dwelling
on inefficient work. It’s gotta be thoughtful, but
I think people get caught up in like, is this smart? You know, I mentioned it earlier. I don’t know, I’m a big fan of offense. I used this analogy last night. In proper football terms, I want my team to win nine to seven, which is an unusual score. And when I talk about it in the US, I talk about 157 to 142 in basketball. That’s who I am and I think
that is a very good model because what you realize is, that means you don’t respect defense. And, when you don’t respect defense, it’s actually another way to say, hey, everybody who’s a CFO-centric
company in the world and, let me save you
time, that’s all of them, like CEO and CFO dynamics are funny, I was like, wait a minute, this is only the last three years, I’m like wait a minute,
CEOs don’t run companies, CFOs run companies. I’m like, that’s stupid. (audience laughing) So. – Yup. More hands going up. – Yup, she’s in the back. Hi.
– Hi. – What’s your name? – [Jasmine] Ah, it’s Jasmine.
– Jasmine. – [Jasmine] I was curious
about what you said earlier about how we’re going to
all move to Alexa, Siri, all of these types of technologies, and with the backlash that’s happened in terms of privacy terms, where do you think the opportunities are, because do you think this is just a blip where everyone suddenly thinks,
oh, I don’t want this thing listening on all of my
private conversations or are people en masse
going to say, actually, I don’t really care if companies own all of my private information? – Number two. – [Jasmine] So, you
think people won’t care? – I know people don’t care. – [Jasmine] I know but do
you think they will continue because, I think, especially, in terms of younger demographics, people have more of an awareness about it. Do you think that’s just going
to be entirely overridden? – Correct. – [Jasmine] Okay. – Yeah, I think it goes. (audience laughing) I actually think it goes
way further than that. I actually think the
greatest thing in the world would be for all of you to
realize there’s no privacy. – [Jasmine] No, no, I think people realize there’s no privacy, hence,
people are becoming more aware. I mean the whole, you know,
Edward Snowden, recently said that people are still vulnerable and people are still not in control, but, at least, they
have the information now that they are not in control. – He’s super naive. – Okay.
– Let’s play it out. No, let’s play it out. Let’s play it out. We’ve been very aware. Like, no, no, Snowden’s been around, I mean, I would argue, you would argue, and I think you would agree with me, that over the last 24 to 36 months, this has become a much bigger thing. When do people most act? Most act when it first becomes aware. People most act when
something first becomes aware and we’re not acting at all. Like, if you look at, this is not my opinion,
this is macro data. Everyone’s like unsubscribe from Facebook. Really? Like look at all the data, like really? Alexa, with all the mainstream
media that gets clicks for the propaganda that
Alexa is listening to, Alexa and Google Home
are staggeringly growing. Here, let me tell you why we
will, ultimately, not care about privacy because the
number one underrated thing in the universe is the human being. We need to get over our cynicism
in a hundred-year period, and we will, as things
become more transparent. I’m completely bought in that, will there be blips, will there be places, sure, but I think people
really don’t understand human beings. I just really think people
don’t understand human beings. Why do human beings live in dictatorships? Why do human beings live, like the judgment that we depose, like people that live in
China or Venezuela or Belarus, I think people are very naive. And so, what I mean by that is, there will always be something else. There’s always things in play. This is giving us more power, not less. – [Jasmine] Can I ask you
one follow up question? – Sure. – [Jasmine] In terms of commercial terms, don’t you think there’s
commercial opportunity for someone to go and say, I’m going to help protect your data because I’m 100% sure I don’t want you– – Of course, I do.
– In my data. – You mean insurance? – No, not insurance.
– No, I mean insurance. What I mean by that is, of
course, I think that people can make a lot of money by selling fear. And, yes, I think a lot
of you will fall for it. – [Jasmine] But not fear, a solution, because I don’t think
it’s illegitimate to say, I don’t want your corporation
or Google or Apple to own my data, I just don’t want that. So, I would be happy to pay for someone to protect me from that. – Yeah, I think that that will happen and I think that it will
be a small percentage because I think, subconsciously,
it sounds great on paper, but it’s not the reality of how it works. For example, let’s play it for a second. Just for fun, Jasmine. What is so scary about
Google owning your data? Let’s just play for a second. Everybody got in such an uproar about Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, talk to me, like what? Ads are more relevant to you? What have you guys been doing? What have credit card
companies been doing? What have retail stores been doing? I think that it’s fear mongering
of the current platforms and I’m just really darned curious what Apple’s gonna do
to you with your data. Let’s talk it out. – [Jasmine] I think the
difference is a corporation is not a democratically elected government and if a corporation. (Gary laughs) No, no, fair enough.
– No, no, I have to react that way because I think
that’s an important part. You’re very smart, that’s
exactly where this needs to go. But keep going. – [Jasmine] So, if a company
holds that much information on that many people, we
know this, this isn’t news, people can influence people
en masse, as you said. You said– – Let me ask you a question. Let me ask a question. Would you rather platforms with data with the ability to get
information in front of you have the chance to influence you versus you mean the way we had it where four old white dudes
influenced everybody? – [Jasmine] I’d like
to think that not four old white dudes influenced me. – Well, let me save you
time, that’s what it was. It was Rupert Murdoch and– – [Jasmine] I don’t agree
with Rupert Murdoch. – Yeah, but.
– I don’t consume his media. – No, no, stop, stop, stop, stop. Jasmine, if you don’t consume their media that means you would also not
consume the Facebook content that you think that they have the power. We’ve always had choice, and we do. There’s a laughable conversation that, if you chose not to read something or watch a certain channel,
that, miraculously, they would penetrate you on Facebook. That’s just not how it works. – [Jasmine] But it’s smarter. – I’m going to make a suggestion. The two of you should– (audience laughing) Perhaps, over some tea or
maybe a pint of beer later? But I see so many other hands
going up with questions. – Sorry.
– No worries. – I just want to get to some more people. I will introduce. – [Woman] It’s about control
because, the four white dudes, they might have some
influence where you think, but the Internet– – Not some. – [Woman] Is way bigger. – You’re wrong. – [Woman] No? – Let’s play it out. – [Woman] Okay. (audience laughing) – Let’s play it out. Let’s play it out. I think there’s a naivete
of supply and demand. The supply of the four white
dudes filled all the buckets. The supply of the Internet is endless. The reason we have more
radical points of view is the endlessness. But I think there is something
that, Jasmine and I over tea, would get to the same place. I think we believe in a
lot of the same things. I think what would end up
happening after our lovely tea is that the question that most matters is where do we hold ourselves accountable? Let me just save you time, whether it’s the four old white
dudes or the new platforms, we need to start looking at
ourselves for accountability. We choose, we choose. And there’s an incredible interest to how we’re being manipulated. We’ve always been manipulated. We’re always gonna continue to
be manipulated or we’re not, depending on how you’re wired. So, I think, there’s a lot to that, but I don’t think they’re
smaller or the Internet’s vaster. There’s more information which means there’s more fragmentation. We more thought alike. Now, you’re very fine
to say, you know what, I liked when four people controlled it ’cause we were all more here and that might be a very valid argument. It’s probably similar to my argument about why I think China will win. It’s more like a business. There’s some things that are dictatorship. There’s some things that
are more capitalistic. I think that’s the way we
have to think about it, like they had 100% penetration
between two points of view. It’s why we were all closer. The reason we’re expanding, but I think we have to
hold ourselves accountable. You have to understand Facebook and Google run on your attention. If they feed you things
that you don’t want, if you’re conservative and you’re getting
nothing but liberal stuff, outside of the fact that
you want to engage with it or if you like football but
you’re getting basketball, the only asset that Facebook
has is your attention. Thus, they want to give you what you want. What I think we’re struggling
with is very simple. I think people think
technology’s changing us. I think it’s exposing us. I think we don’t want
to be held accountable. I think we don’t like who we actually are. What do you think? I want to give her some time. I think it’s fair. What do you think? – [Woman] So, I just want to say that, I think that we all should
be accountable to ourselves, and some of us probably
are, you are to yourself. But a lot of people, and so
that’s where I am concerned, and I kind of think of Star Wars and all the guys in white suits, they all just march the
line because that’s the way it’s going and is that the way it’s going? And, when you say things like, Brexit– – They were cloned, by the way. (audience laughing) Yet they should be marching
in the same direction by design. – [Woman] But, you know, the Brexit vote that was controlled by the Internet. – It wasn’t controlled by the internet. Yeah go ahead.
– People really voted for Brexit or they didn’t. They were influenced to vote and did they have control
over how they voted? – There so many things. But here’s the thing,
I think we try to talk about these things in one
term not the overall thing. How many people voted for Brexit? You know, where does that
sit on accountability? Like there’s so many
variables in play here and, once again, I think
that we are looking at the current state of
media consumption and content and we’re not having it in an alternative, the reason I bring up the alternatives, is those are the alternatives and then I think there’s no difference between clicking the channel, buying the newspaper
that you decide to buy or the stuff that’s coming in your feed. I think the reason people think there is, is ’cause I think they lack the education on what’s actually happening
in those feeds and why. I believe that. – Gentleman in the blue
shirt, front row here and then we’re gonna go
to the back of the room. I keep seeing a hand. – [John] Hi, my name’s John. I was looking for a bit of advice for any of the entrepreneurs in the room. Sounds like you’re doing podcast, books, multiple investments, managing
the services business, et cetera, et cetera, how do you deal with the context between all of these different things? Is there sort of an approach you take or method that you use to stay focused and be able to jump between all these different things and for two hours you spend with consumers every day? How do you manage that context? – I navigate it very simply,
which is I scratch the itch that needs it at the moment. I think there’s too much upfront planning and that we get paralyzed
by over-planning it. How do I handle it? I don’t think about it. I know what my responsibilities are. I have plates in the air, and I don’t know, this plate
feels like it’s starting to not spin as well and so I’ll spin it. And then I’ll try to, in parallel, try to pay attention to the plates. I’m like, do I even want that plate? So, you try to be
thoughtful while executing. Macro, micro, clouds and dirt. And, ultimately, John, I
think the biggest thing that works for me is not over-judging it. Like, I’m not devastated
if that plate falls because, guess what, I have 41 plates, and the net of 40, it’s back
to this net game of 157, it’s 97. One could argue your defense is rubbish. I’m like cool, I won. (audience laughing) Got it? – The question in the back of the room. – You know, I think it depends on. Why don’t you hold the mic? Let’s play it, first of all, there’s so many things going
on here and I love this, I mean, I would sit here
for 15 hours and talk with you guys about this because it’s super-interesting, right, like it’s our lives, meaning
first you have to start with what information? I’ll answer that, but I just want to, we’re all here, we’ve clearly got momentum in this conversation,
like what information? That you like root beer? That this is where you shop? This is how much you spend? Your social security number? Like where are we going here? Again, I think that
we’re reading headlines. We need to have this conversation. What information? Google has more than Facebook. Financial services have more. I’m way more scared that Chase has my social security number. Facebook doesn’t. So, that’s number one. Number two, I would recommend
them being accountable. Let me tell you the
scariest year of my life, in like this topic. From October 2001 to October 2002, I went to Al Jazeera’s website a lot and, even back then, I was like, hmm. I have a funny feeling the
FBI knows I’m doing this. Right, even back then. You know, I don’t know. Like, again, let’s talk this out. False information. So, okay, you read an article in Facebook, which, by the way, you can
read in The Sun as well, with like this notion
that human journalists that work in these
companies are the truth. This is a very important conversation. So, anyway, back to your question, what? About a policy? About a person that’s running for office? About the information
about the environment? I don’t know, what should you do? You should do what all
thoughtful people do, which is you should be open to a lot of pieces of information versus what actually is happening
in this wave of emotion, which is, maybe you’re just
actually reading something you want to be reading
and it’s reinforcing what you want to believe and
that is what we need to unpack. I don’t know, like, you know, there’s an important thing here, this notion that these
Russians are getting in and giving you an article
about this point of view, it’s a very interesting headline. And I love even talking about this because I love trying to map
what people are thinking. I love when people tell
me I’m naive, right. I really love that because I would argue we have to have a conversation
about the human spirit. You know, listen, I want
people to understand how this actually works. The last 70 years that were
built on more closed media produced the Nazis,
produced all these things. They produced them, my friends. You have to understand how
it actually works, right. I was born in the Soviet Union. My mom wrote a book report, pre-Internet, my mom wrote a book
report that Fidel Castro was the bravest man in the world. That he was in the face of this
awful place called America, in this small, little
island, it was one man who was so brave and so special
and his name’s Fidel Castro and he is the best. Is that right? Is that wrong? This is a more complicated, what do I think people should do? I think they should be thoughtful and educate themselves from
different points of view. After 9/11, I went on Al Jazeera every day because I wanted to hear
what they had to say because I was curious
on the point of view. You know, why is Russia gaining momentum? Because they’re using the Internet, but also Russia run the
network channel that people are thrilled to put on their
cable service providers ’cause they get a fucking vig
on the $3 per subscription, but it’s also allowing people to hear a different point of view,
like different points of view. They come in all media
forms, not just the Internet. Comes in print and radio and television. It’s always been the same,
here’s one difference. There’s scale on the internet which is why you’ll get
extreme points of view. You’ll get fragmented points, and we’re gonna have to go through this. – Gary, I want to see if
there’s any other questions on this side of the room
because we kinda favored. Let’s do one more question and then we’re gonna move
into a wrap up mode here. – [Man] Quick question,
you talked about Blockchain and the fact financial
services need to give them more focus, what do you
think is the next vertical, the next industry that’s
gonna be really disrupted by Blockchain? – I’m not sure. I even think Blockchain
itself is still murky for me, but here’s what I know. That a lot of people aren’t
educated enough about Blockchain and understand that new
blockchains will be built. Ultimately, here’s what I know. When you get into a place of peer-to-peer, I’m a big believer that
what’s actually happening here with technology is it’s
making us go all the way back. ‘Cause that’s how life
works with technology. Right? Like, look what voice is gonna do, it’s gonna make us go back
to like a radio environment that we thought we left in the 40s. It’s really fun to watch. Like, all this podcast consumption, well, this is what our
great-grandparents did around a big box. We’re just moving around with it. It’s super fun to watch this. I think that Blockchain has
the potential to take us back to the early villages where
it was really based on, you know, you’re gonna be
trading on your reputation and currency. There’s going to be a place
that nobody in the middle has to make a vig between
me selling your home ’cause the lease
transaction’s gonna happen on the Blockchain. I mean, it’s really fascinating stuff. Financial service companies
make a lot of money to be in the middle. That middle is on call. Blockchain, to me, is even a scarier thing than the Internet. You know, I love how everybody’s like our mortgage businesses
are getting disrupted by these Internet mortgage people, right. And I’m like, wait ’till you see what the Blockchain’s gonna do to you. You know, so I don’t know, but I know this, it’s going to be very
comfortable for you and I. You and I. When the Blockchain is accepted, for you and I to make any transaction, and the fact than none of the dollars have to go to anybody else
is going to be attractive to you and I. And that is a real technology. And when you think about
what financial services do, that really creates a wrinkle
to a lot of the margin. ‘Cause it’s trust. It’s just trust. – Couple quick questions
for your rapid fire ’cause the countdown clock is on. Who is the Gary Vee for Gary Vee, like who is the person that you follow? – Nobody. My mom. – Is she as active on
social media as you are? – Not as much. (audience laughs) – Okay, make sure you
call her this evening. – I will. – What’s your theme song? – Uh, the Eye of the Tiger. (audience laughing) – Not surprising. Most underestimated country that we’re not talking about enough? – Huh, that’s a good question. That’s interesting. Um. Couple things, I’ll just
give you some things that came to mind. I’m super-interested in Africa as a whole. Ghana, specifically, has got my attention. Um. Hmm. That’s what I’ll stick with. Nothing comes to super mind. – What keeps you up at night? – The health of my family and myself. Only that. It just doesn’t feel controllable. Everything else feels, as you can tell, controllable to me. – Where do you not want
to waste your time? – You know, it’s funny. I don’t think, and this
was a couple other answers, I don’t think I value, you know, it’s so funny,
I’m a contradiction, an enigma a little bit, I so value time and then I don’t value time. I never think about that. I think I make the best choices I can and I let the chips fall where they may. – Okay. If you had to do it over,
what would you do differently? – You know, not much. I mean, you know, I think
anybody who’s truly happy would be crazy to do anything over again because then some other domino
would hit some other domino. This is what I hate when
people struggle with choices, you’re not going to know the alternative. And so, I would do
everything exactly the same. – Okay, and then a final
piece of advice for the room before you depart? – Look, I think the
biggest thing I could say is we are so lucky to be living
through this time of change. You know, this is a binary thing. You either see this from
an optimistic point of view or a pessimistic point of view. I just know, I know it, I
watch it in every angle, high, low, left, right,
entitlement, coming from nothing. This is the great opportunity. There’s such a land grab of
opportunity and happiness, it’s about getting educated in the details and having a binary point of view of like, either you’re on or you’re off. And I don’t want people to be regretful of how special this time was. I understand and I’m very empathetic to lots of the points of
view we talked about here, both socially, obviously,
business-wise as well, this is an enormous
opportunity and I really hope you look at it through that lens. Give me 30 days of pure
optimism and offense and look at all these things,
you might be interested in what you find. – Thank you.
– Thank you. (audience clapping) (upbeat music)

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