This is a guest post from Gary Vaynerchuk — well-known entrepreneur, social media innovator, and author of “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.

If you follow my blog, you know that I’m all about content, content, content. Companies need to become media companies now. They need to be putting out content that will interest their current consumers as well as bring them new ones. But I’m not writing this to talk about that again. I’ve done that enough. Check out my other articles on that subject here, here, and here if you need to know more.

This post is going to jam on a problem that people bring to me on the #AskGaryVee show all the time. Constantly, I get tweets from people asking me to help them figure out how to make interesting and dynamic content when they think their industry is overrun with the same stuff over and over. Some even call their industry “stale.” Damn. What to do there?

I have one answer for you: The best way to attack a stale industry and innovate it is to spend zero time in that industry.

Quick example: When I was in the wine industry, people would always be telling me things like, “You should check out this store in Dallas, they’re doing something cool.” You know what I would say? “I don’t give a crap.”

One fun fact that most people don’t know about me is that I have spent an amazingly little amount of time within the wine industry. Same with the agency industry. I’ve been to maybe six other agencies in my life. I read nothing about any of it in magazines or books. I try not to listen to what else is going on.

And that is what I think you guys should do too, and I’ll tell you exactly what I mean.

I have been able to innovate over and over because of a couple of things.

Number one is lack of outside influence and education. I’m not joking. I tend to stay within myself and stick to what comes naturally to me.

Secondly, I look to other industries. If you’re launching a fitness app, pay attention to what’s happening in the food industry, or the rock climbing industry. Think completely left field. Maybe even hip hop, or sports. You know what? Think about stuff that has nothing to do with your industry. The best way to stay in the zone and NOT innovate is to pay attention to everyone else. Because they’re doing the same crap over and over. And guess what? The same old crap SUCKS.

Know someone who can’t think outside of the zone? Next time they start talking about how boring their industry is, send them this article.


About Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk has built businesses all his life: In his 20's, he grew his family liquor store from $3 million to $45 million in 5 years, launching, one of America's first wine e-commerce sites. In 2009, he co-founded VaynerMedia, a social-first digital agency which helps brands market in the year we live in. An angel investor and adviser to some of the most successful tech startups since social media’s early days, Gary has counseled and invested in more than 50 tech startups including Twitter, Tumblr, Medium, BirchBox, Uber and Venmo. In 2014, Gary launched $25 million seed fund VaynerRSE to continue his successful investing career.

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  1. Nicole

    Agree with this, but does knowing the audience also play into this as well, which would mean you might need to know a little bit about the industry…

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