When I heard about Gary Vaynerchuk stopping his Daily Grape program I watched his last episode and then thought about it.
I watched for a while (WLTV) but I grew tired of his schtick and got turned off by what I considered childish behaviour. Specifically coming on with first growth Boredeaux and pretending like he was going to open it up and review it and then stopping the episode.
As far as I can see he never made any direct money from WLTV and Daily Grape but he established a brand for himself that opened up ancillary opportunities.
Specifically books, speaking engagements, Vayner Media consulting, he has an agent that handles only A list entertainment personalities. I'm sure all this lets him command 7 figure compensation from these alone.
Yes he is a natural talent and yes he would have been successful otherwise but the fact remains he worked for his fathers business and had access to opportunities in the industry that most people would not have.
If he has had some setbacks like Cork'D they don't take away from his ancillary successes (which make him a winner already).
I don't mean to say that Gary didn't work his butt off, he did, but his successes don't impress me as much as someone like Mark Fusco 1337 Wine who started out with next to nothing (in knowledge and resources).
You see Vaynerchuk did what came naturally for him and although he put in a hell of a lot of work it was within "his comfort zone". I watched Mark from the beginning and it was obvious he was outside what was comfortable for him but he worked and got better at it.
So Gary Vaynerchuk, you are extremely talented and a hell of a worker, you deserve everything you have earned but the podcasts I have done Wine Dining Review and World Wine review are directly inspired from 1337 Wine.