The Airplane Project – Gary Vaynerchuk

Yesterday, Gary Vaynerchuk released a new series of videos that he recorded during a flight from Sweden to New York.

For those of you who are not aware of Gary Vaynerchuk, or Gary Vee as he is so often known, let me give you a bit of history.

A history of Gary Vee

I first became aware of Gary a couple of years ago. I had heard his name on a couple of podcasts that I listened to, and did what all sane people do. I hit Wikipedia hard. What I found there and subsequently on his website has resulted in me becoming an avid follower of all of his work.

This is a guy who came to America as a child with his parent from Belarus in the former USSR. Like many young American entrepreneurs, he sold Lemonade and traded Baseball cards etc. to make money before his father “literally dragged him” into the family business, a discount liquor store.

With the proliferation of ther internet, Gary convinced his family to let him develop an ecommerce store for the now rebranded “Wine Library”. Taking advantage of emerging technology like Google adwords, email marketing etc. he helped to take the wine library from 3MM to 60MM in sales in just 5 years.

From 2006 to present Gary became an early YouTube star, keynote speaker and angel investor with investments like twitter, Facebook and Tumblr to his name.

His latest venture, “Vayner Media” is a full service digital agency that launched in 2009. The company now spans over 4 offices servicing a host of Fortune 500 companies helping them to tell stories through existing and emerging platforms.

This is a very quick recap so be sure to visit to get the full story.

The Airplane Project

Now you have an idea of who this guy is and what he does, I want to get to the reason I am writing about him today.

Just after midnight last night (11th December) I finished watching 12 videos release by Gary. Now, for someone that releases huge amount of content across multiple social media platforms every day, 12 videos may not seem like a big deal, but these videos were very different from anything I have ever seen him release.

Gary Vee’s style is unique no matter what content you are watching. This is a manner who will be brutally honest on every occasion, is incredibly passionate and has absolutely no issue with dropping the odd F-Bomb (which I love). All of that said, every piece of content, ever keynote is always an incredibly well thought out, highly polished affair with great video and sound quality to boot.

The Airplane project is the opposite of all of those things. This is 45 minutes of raw, unedited, stream of consciousness. I’ll be honest, the sound quality is bad with a myriad of airplane engines and service trolley rattling. The video is a handheld, front facing iPhone camera affair which, to be honest, is as good as any other social content that gets put out from an iPhone.

It is however, for all of these reason that you have to watch this series.

The Prologue

One of my favourite things about this series of video is the prologue. This is video taken 48 hours before the launch of the project where Gary and his team are discussing the videos and the strategy behind them. This behind the scenes allows you to see the doubt that existed within the team and the questions about if it should be released at all and if it is released, in what formats.

With everything else produced by the team being of such high quality there were obviously concerns about releasing something so raw. The team quite rightly said that some of this is difficult to watch, not just because of the quality, but because some of the things Gary talks about is still being formulated in his own mind.

These kind of doubts exist with anything that is being put out into the world and it is here where you see the confidence of Gary in putting out something is video, audio and written formats that his team just aren’t sure about.

The Tracks

Track 1: Intro

Track 2: My Current Mindset

Key Takeaway – Everybody has something they are dealing with. There are things that are holding all of us back and pulling us down. We are born with gifts and curses that we have to overcome.

The key here is to deal with everything using a massive amount of empathy. You have to do things for yourself, not for others. Nobody’s opinion matters more that your own.

Track 3: The Flaw of Judgement in a Social World

Key Takeaway – This one is simple. Stop judging. In the age of social media, everybody has a platform to broadcast their opinions and so often they are not good. Technology is not changing us, it is exposing us. Our biggest weakness (and this is something I personally have to work on) is we spend too much energy and time judging people based on our own false narratives.

Track 4: The Modern Scale of Giving

Key Takeaway – It has never been more practical to be a good person, but it is not about going this publicly. You have to do the right thing behind the scenes. Don’t think that you can be incongruent and only do the right things publicly because there is always someone watching. Having expectations of some kind of return when giving your time, money our information away is not a gift. It’s a manipulations.

Remember, word of mouth is at the very core of every internet platform so make sure the experience people have with you are good experiences.

Track 5: The Power of Pulling from Both Sides

Key Takeaway – We are all constantly being pulled in a million different direction and this creates friction, but in that friction, we can create diamoonds. We need to find congruence in our lives and power in that friction.

So much good is about to happen but if you only look at the bad, you might miss the opportunities.

Track 6: Parents … Please Understand

Key Takeaway – As a parent, this one really hit home. If I were to list all of my mistakes I would need to upgrade my server. The most poignant piece of insight here is to let your children win on their terms, not yours. As parents we often value what other people think of our children more than listening to our children. Our concerns about being judged by other set our children up to fail, not succeed.

This track made me realise that all of the things that frustrate me about my children are all of the things I have created in them and all of the things that frustrate me about myself. Putting them in an environment of love and freedom has to be the key.

Track 7: The History of Hate

Key Takeaway – You will lose and be humiliated by history if you hate. With current technology, the things that will become history are being live streamed to the world. Eventually, you won’t need other people to judge you because your own words will speak testament against you. Approach things with positivity. That doesn’t mean always agreeing, it means trying to move the conversation forward. If you have a mindset of hate, immediately reprogram and move forward.

Track 8: Ambition Aspirations

Key Takeaway – Do not suppress your ambition. Being hungry for great things is your biggest asset. Don’t be afraid of beating the competition but do it in the right way. Don’t tear down other people’s projects and progress. If you have someone telling you that you are dreaming too big, that is not someone you need in your life or at a minimum, that is someone who can drive you to achieve more.

Ambition is the fuel to success especially if you combine it with empathy and kindness. You will have downfalls and failures, they are inevitable but don’t let them define you. No matter what you do, think about what your legacy will be every minute of every day. Harness your ambition and mould it into something great.

Track 9: No Expectations Other than Me

Key Takeaway – If you don’t want to feel let down, or betrayed then have no expectations of anyone but yourself. You are the only thing that you can control in this world so focus on that. If you get yourself in a good place, the world around you will change. Make the game something that happens in your own mind, if you do, nobody will be able to compete with you.

Respect and adore humility, let that be the foundation of your life.

Track 10: Why 99% of Things Don’t Matter

Key Takeway – A good friend told me a long time ago not to sweat the small stuff. It’s something I forget far too often. This is exactly the same. All of the reasons you give for not being able to do something don’t matter. Stop worrying about how many followers, likes, what car you have, what job your friend just got, if somebody else earns more money than you. None of that matters. Don’t allow yourself to be crippled by short term sitatuions.

Track 11: Deep Respect to the End

Key Takeaway – No matter what, have massive respect for people. When they disagree with you, disrespect you, understand they are coming from a place of weakness and respect that but don’t be that. Always come from a place of positivity and move the conversation forward. Tell your story from a place of strength and stability without worrying what other people might thing or say.

Track 12: The Power of G & G

Key Takeaway – Guilt and Gratitude. Be driven by your emotions. Use them as fuel for success. Be incredibly grateful for the circumstances you are in. If you have haters, that’s great. You should thank those people. More often than not, the people that criticise you can be the best teachers you have. Nobody is placed in front of you without reason.


These were my key lessons from each one of the Gary Vaynerchuk “Airplane Project” tracks, but these are mine. You may watch these and pull something much different from him.

I think the essence of what he is saying here is do everything with massive integrity, congruence and gratitude. Give more than you receive without expectation and that doesn’t mean publicly. It is more important what you do in private than it is on social media. Approach everything with a positive mindset and find balance in the extremes of your life.

I highly recommend you all go and watch each one of these priceless lessons yourself. I see this as a mixtape for life. It’s a kind of Ten Commandments. Just click the link below.

The Airplane Project by Gary Vee

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