Yesterday I flew from Boston to Portland giving me ample time to get caught up on my reading. I finished off “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell on the first leg of my flight, which I highly recommend just for the analysis of hockey players, and on the second leg around a viewing of “Where the Wild Things Are” I read “Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion” by Gary Vaynerchuk.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Gary speak at events before and in general I love his passion and energy. The book was a quick and enjoyable read. After finishing it I think “Crush It!” is one of the better books to recommend to people who don’t understand the power of social media and aren’t very technical. It is a great way for people to understand the power of social media and to wrap their heads around some of the general concepts as well briefly learning about some of the tools. For people well versed in social media I wouldn’t call this a must read, most of us are pretty familiar with his story and the general concepts he lays out, but being such a short book it is very easy to digest and you can easily get through it in one sitting. For me it was more like a motivational book, I wouldn’t call it detail rich when it comes to the technology he uses or specific strategy.
I really enjoy that Gary has such a strong personal narrative and I think how he shares his story builds a lot of credibility with readers learning about this space. After reading the book I understand how he uses the technology and I am eager to read more from Gary. Personally for me I look forward to his future works and hope to glean some details of how he is applying strategy for other businesses. To Gary’s credit he didn’t use the same old social media examples we see in just about every book, there was no mention of Dell, Will It Blend, or the other traditional case studies that have become so played out. (This is a major pet peeve of mine.) Gary actually references a lot of different people that have taken control of their niche, which I found refreshing. I also like that Gary empowers the reader to actually search for how to use tools and other available information about their potential personal branding strategies. He is right that there is so much available content out there we should be taking advantage of it.
This is a small detail that I have a problem with. We know that Gary has some tight ties with Tumblr and that he moved his site to that platform within the last year. But the way he presents Tumblr in his book reads like he has been on it for a few years. He really pushes the platform hard but making it sound like there is a little more history between him and the platform… well… It just feels a little disingenuous to me. I have to wonder how much more there is to that relationship than Gary just using the platform?
Overall I would recommend Crush It to anyone that is interested in Social Media and I would call it a must read to skeptics and beginners.
What did you think of Crush It?