How Shane Smith Built Vice Into a $2.5 Billion Empire

2014 Brand Genius winner for media

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about Vice’s humble beginnings. It’s 1994 in Montreal, and three guys—Shane Smith, Gavin McInnes and Suroosh Alvi—decide to launch a free punk magazine called the Voice of Montreal. Two years later, the magazine drops the “o,” changing its name to Vice. By 2014, the operation—having since relocated to New York and now known as Vice Media—has become a platform-spanning news and entertainment group valued at more than $2.5 billion.