The Thank You Economy

 I just finished reading 'Thank You Economy' by Gary Vaynerchuk, which was recomended to me in very apt fashion by someone in the comment's section of this blog. The book is about how social media has levelled the playing field for small business and once again created a word of mouth culture.

10 years ago if you had recieved bad customer service from a large company, you would probably tell your circle of friends and it wouldnt make a dent in that companies bottom line. Now you can moan on twitter, facebook, amazon, trip advisor, a podcast, a blog, a forum, and probably 100 effective methods. If not handled well, your compllaint could reach thousands upon thousands of people. Likewise, if you recieve exceptional service, your praise can reach the same number of people and give that company some of the best free marketing available (Think of how much more effective a friend's recommendation is compared to banner ad these days).

I don't really see the point of explaining the book any more than this, because Vaynerchuk explains it himself much better in this video. In short, he is very successful because he gave a shit more than his competitors:

I loved the book, it has really spoken to me at a transitional period in my own life. First of all, I have really become a social media convert in 2011, I think it will be as mandatory a skill in ten years time as operating a PC is today. Secondly, I have my own book - The Mental Game of Poker - coming out next week. The nature of the book really means that word of mouth is vital to its success (especially as the US DoJ appears to have created a massive bump in the road), I know social media (particularly twitter, facebook, and forums) will play a huge part.

Finally, on a personal note, losing my Father last year has a major influence. I must admit I was much more a fast buck kind of guy, I would usually go for the easier route, I would sometimes (semi) joke that 'if a job is worth doing properly, it's not worth doing'. Dad was never someone I would call particularly ambitious, however, he always did his best, he never cut corners, he never did a shoddy job, he never put off tomorrow what he could do today, and most of all, he always did the right thing by others – customers, friends, and family.

One of the really humbling things about his funeral was seeing just how profound an impact this had, one that you would never see day to day, month to month, only in a lifetime. So many people came to the funeral, his plumber came, his mechanic came, my friends who knew him when we were at school came, so many people who would otherwise barely be acquittance's came – not the sort of people you would usually expect to see at a funeral. We also heard many stories about lives he touched, how he was like a second father to a lot of people, and was a real role model to people who were on bad pathes until they met him (One guy in particular who could have easily been in jail, but after meeting Dad, followed his example, and became a stand up family man and a nurse). 

Thats not successful in an ROI sense, but thats a legacy. It was a real turning point for me in my life, I want to leave an imprint like that. Don't get me wrong, I want to earn a shit load of money too, but I want to do it right. 

There are so many ways I could shamelessly spam this book, but I'm not going to. I have no intention of misseling this to players who shouldnt buy it (like brand new players) because whats the point? There are loads of things I could do to increase my twitter followers, but why bother if they don't want to listen (please follow me on twitter btw) - much better to know that the people that do follow us want to hear us. I know the book is good, because I know Jared Tendler is a genius, so I'm not going to ruin things by pushing too hard, I hope that enough people agree with me to spread the word because they want to.

Anyway, to get back on track, the Thank You Economy is the second best book of 2011 so far for me and I read a hell of a lot (Top read so far this year for me was 'Made to Stick' by the Heath Brothers). Its passionate, persusaive, and easy to follow. Its a real must for anyone in, well, any industry, and simply put if you don't buy into the principles of the Thank You Economy, you will get left behind.


Jeff M. said...

Glad you liked the book Barry. "Made to stick" has been sitting idle on my Kindle for quite a while, maybe I should push it up to the front of my reading queue...

Thanks for sharing your story, good lesson to be learned from it for sure.


Barry Carter said...

Its great, as is 'Switch' their other book - I actually think Switch is better but I read that last year so it didnt make my 'best of 2011' list.

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