My store Wine Library outsells big national chains. How do you think we do it? It started with hustle. I always say that our success wasn't due to my hundreds of online videos about wine that went viral but to the hours I spent talking to people online afterward making connections and building relationships.
The world has changed - through technology through wine-making techniques the quality of wine is greater than it's ever been. Whereas ten fifteen years ago it was very easy to find lots of bad wine it's kind of hard now. The technology the science - it's like are you kidding? We're in the golden years of wine!
Anyone working for a big company might be skeptical that a large business or even a strictly online business can form the same kind of friendly loyal relationship with customers as a local retailer. I'm saying it's already been done because I lived it.
Even though I'm a hype man myself I like the practicality of it all. People who understand how to turn a profit. At the end of the day this is still business so I'm looking for real practical knowledge of how to actually make money not necessarily raise it.
I'm not afraid to call a wine that tastes like Skittles or green peppers mixed with orange marmalade. I'll say 'It tastes like chicken.' I mean that's not what people think of when they think of wine but that's what it tastes like to me and it hits home.
You have to respect your parents. They are giving you an at-bat. If you're an entrepreneur and go into the family business you want to grow fast. Patience is important. But respect the other party... My dad and I pulled it off because we really respect each other.
My dad is like a cactus - introverted and tough. I'm a people person like my mom but I got my competitiveness from my dad. He came to this country from Belarus with nothing and built a real business. He's my hero for giving me that need to run a business and for having enormous confidence in me.
I am surprised by how not-adopted the video reply has been. What keeps other people from doing it I think is that they think a video comes across as 'I'm cool look at how many e-mails I get.' That perception doesn't scare me because I know who I am.
Okay let's talk about cartoon labels for half a second - some people think anything with a dog or a car or a colorful alien is garbage which is not true. Look at Big Moose Red. It's like a $6 wine with a cheesy label and it's actually a solid wine.
IQ is a commodity data is a commodity. I'm far more interested in watching people interact at a restaurant with their smartphone. We can all read 'Tech Crunch ' 'Ad Age.' I would rather be living in the trenches. I would rather be going to Whole Foods in Columbus Circle to watch people shop with their smartphones.