My thoughts on business, family, social media, and the NY Jets.

How I Built a Strong Relationship and Strong Business with my Father

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The stretch of route 78 from exit 12 to exit 48 — from my family home in Hunterdon County to Springfield, New Jersey, the location of Wine Library — was the road that established my relationship with my father, and the foundation of Wine Library’s success. During my high-school and college years in the late nineties, I spent every single weekend, summer break, and holiday vacation driving up and down that highway every morning and every night. The time was spent talking about the business, bouncing ideas off one another, planning for the future, and generally figuring things out. I remember that 6-year stretch extremely fondly. The one thing I had with my dad that I don’t have with my brother AJ was that quality time…

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The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received Came From a Creepy Old Guy

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As some of you may know, I grew up in the liquor business. Now, I was fortunate enough to have it turn into the wine business, but it started off as the liquor business. When I was 16, there was a salesman from one of the liquor companies who was always around. He was a real raunchy, 80-something-year-old guy who was about as politically incorrect as you can get. One day he made yet another statement that made me think “you disrespectful dope,” but over the years it kind of stuck, and I think it’s worth sharing: He said — and I need you to imagine this in an “old man who drinks too much bourbon and smokes too many cigarettes” voice — “Gary, you never know what you have until you sleep with…

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I Made a Bad Call on Snapchat, but Here’s Why I’m Totally Cool With It

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One of the things I love about talking shit (aka talking about anything I think will happen in the future) is the fact that sometimes I’m wrong. Go figure. Back in 2013 Snapchat released a feature called stories. Just after that I was at Le Web where I basically shat all over the feature in front of a live audience. My opinion was mainly predicated on my concern with the way they were making me move away from the main screen in order to access people’s stories. I didn’t like that user experience. I thought it was high-friction and that it was a lot to ask of users. On top of that, I really liked the one-to-one nature of the app, and so the move to add a one-to-many feature really felt like a half-pregnant idea (especially since it was…

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Dark Posts, #Selfies, and Lawyers: A Q&A in Philly

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If you haven’t seen the keynote that comes before this, do yourself a favor and check it out!
00:00 – Don’t you believe that marketers have ruined Facebook dark posts, yet?
2:25 – How did you land your Instagram-resistant CEO as a client?
7:05 – Can I come up to the stage and take a #selfie with you?
8:20 – How can we recruit freight agents using social media?
9:19 – How do we authentically tell our stories when we’re marketing to lawyers?
13:14 – Where do you draw the line to use your personal brand instead of your company’s?

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