The original Vayniac
Creative Commons License photo credit: kastner

I’m a fan of both Jason Calacanis and Gary Vaynerchuk and Jason recently had Gary on his show, This Week in Startups. It’s an hour long, but if you are an entrepreneur or if believe in social business or online community, put aside some time. The clip is embedded below (warning: expletives).

A lot of what Gary discusses is related to online community and the business of building community. At one point, he discussed the ROI of caring and of doing good things – what a business will likely be doing if they are building online community and doing it well.

“What’s the ROI?,” he said. “I always say, well, what the [expletive] is the ROI of your mother? Like I don’t know what the R- I don’t have data to show you the ROI of [my mother], but I can sit firmly here and tell you that it’s everything, it’s the whole [expletive] game because without the way my mom raised me, I’d be a clown. So, I don’t understand how people don’t understand the emotional impact of business. It’s not just black and white. Plus, by the way, traditional – your black and white data sucks.”

What’s the ROI of community? Yeah, you can track some things. Yeah, you can throw some numbers around. But, you either get that there is value to caring and to building community, or you don’t, because the question has never and will never be “do I have a community?” Instead, the question has always been “how do I engage with my community (or not)?”