We Are Family

This week, we reached a mini milestone in our little world. We had our first official Family Day Summit. Less than a year in operation, 30 of our portfolio companies gathered and (hopefully) enjoyed a day filled with learning, collaborating with their VaynerRSE siblings and discussing our organization’s role in the future of innovation.

Some dear friends outside the family who have approached invention and innovation pretty flawlessly also willingly joined us, sharing their expertise with the group of founders.

Some of the day’s takeaways:

“Everyone has ideas. It’s about building on those ideas and having the tenacity to move it forward.”–Steve Ross, Co-Founder & Chairman of RSE Ventures, Founder of Related Companies

The day began took off with a fireside chat with Steve Ross and Gary Vaynerchuk. This was fascinating for a number of reasons. You have two very seemingly different people, yet both extremely successful at what they do.

The term PHD was a huge take away for everyone in the room, giving founders the advice to hire “Poor Hungry Determined” employees, “if you want to build A teams, you need to hire A people.”

“There aren’t a lot of smart publicists.”–Jesse Derris, Founder and CEO of Derris & Company

Jesse was fantastic. He dove into how to be a smart publicist and shared the ins and outs with the group, the highlights of his career thus far (which was successfully pitching 60 minutes). He really focused on how to do public relations correctly, how to measure success big picture as well as analytically.

“How can glasses cost more than an iPhone?”–Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder of Warby Parker

Dave brought the group through some of Warby’s core values when it comes to maintaining and growing the company’s culture. One of the key values was to “object fun and quirkiness into everything we do.”

“People focus on the things that don’t matter.”–Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerRSE Partner, Co-Founder and CEO of VaynerMedia

A rare appearance (thus the photo), both Gary and AJ sat down with the group and brought the room through the birth and upbringing of their social media agency, VaynerMedia. They were confident that if they all believed in the same thing, the vision would come together, which it did. What we learned from the Vayernchuks is that for one they are really fucking good at scaling the unscalable. When it came to hiring, they suggested reverse engineering every employee to really understand what they care about. “Your behavior has to match your finish line.”

“JOMO.”-Michael Lazerow, Chief Strategy Office, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, CEO/Founder of Buddy Media

This guy was simply awesome. He co-founded Buddy Media and sold it to Salesforce five years later. Lazerow brought a different angle to the day by focusing on the mental and emotional aspects of entrepreneurship. His key piece of advice that he owes to the success of Buddy Media was how in-tune he was with his gut. He spoke about when you want something “FOMO, fear of missing out” will fade out, and “JOMO, joy of missing out” enters the picture.

Closing the day

Our VRSE Partners, Matt and Gary concluded the day with some closing remarks, including putting life in perspective for the young room. The VaynerRSE team is so proud of everyone that was a part of this week’s events and we cannot wait to do it again.

Have a great weekend!