Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Thank You Economy

The Thank You Economy is a book about caring for customers and cultivating relationships. It tells the story of how courtship and one-on-one customer care and relationships have returned to business, thanks to social media. The book emphasizes that businesses will lose a lot of money if they don’t engage with their customers and fans on this two-way street.

The book highlights that modern businesses have to navigate a lot more than ever before since the creation of social media. Now, businesses are always on trial and always reachable. How businesses respond to social media and how they use the tool will dictate the success of their business.

The Thank You Economy looks at how businesses can use their ‘old time values’ to leverage social media into something that grows their business, not hinders it. The book emphasizes that work is always about giving — efficiency, entertainment, relief, free time, peace of mind, opportunity, comfort — to other people.

In the end, no matter what obstacles a company faces in the Thank You Economy, the solution will always be the same. Competitors are bigger? Outcare them. They’re cheaper? Outcare them. They’ve got celebrity status and you don’t? Outcare them. Social media gives businesses the tools to touch their consumers and create an emotion where before there might not have been one.

Useful takeaways from the book include:

  • Social media is not just another platform; it is a massive cultural shift that has profoundly affected the way society uses the Internet.
  • Businesses need to cultivate relationships with their customers and engage with them on social media to succeed in the Thank You Economy.
  • Businesses should use their old-time values to leverage social media into something that grows their business, not hinders it.
  • Work is always about giving to other people.
  • Those who avoid or ignore social media to create connections will be left behind.

What I Liked

The energy and ambition of this book is amazing – you can feel it through the text. I love the drive and the vision of using tools to effectively scale business and communication. The author is brilliant and a smart first adopter.

What I Did Not Like

Ok – I am all for hard work. I think that hard work is rewarding and is the bare minimum. But.

I don’t think someone’s work should define someone’s identity. And I don’t think life should be about work and forming more and more professional relationships. And that is what this book preaches. The book (and the author) is wrong.

There is plenty to learn from in the book – especially about being focused and effective (rather than efficient). But actually giving all of yourself and being happy about it to professional relationships is not something to takeaway.

Also – I don’t think that the book has been exactly right about the unmitigated awesomeness of social media and connection. I think there’s a good argument that focus, deep work, and deep relationships have been lost in the last 15 years blindly striving to build “relationships” on social media.

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