So I just launched a site called VC Wear (on twitter, no less). Matt Emmi (of One Button, a boring non Web 2.0 home theater install company that is actually really, really cool) came with me to Startup Weekend Bloomington. During the weekend, several jokes were made about doing “Startup Car Ride,” “Startup Bathroom Break” and “Startup Plane” among other things. Saturday night featured a series of extremely random events that led to having a drink at a college bar with a VC and good friend Paul Roales. It was a fun bar, the type of bar where you talk to a whole lot of random people about random topics. I turned around after an hour and saw Paul and a gentleman in a rather heated looking conversation. There was arm raising, there was even a little pointing. I got closer and figured out what was going on.
Paul was getting a bad pitch.
One of the founders from the weekend came over to break up the discussion. I heard “nobody will ever fund you…” This was responded with “no, ours is different.”
This was bad.
I bought the a shot of Jagermeister for the good work of the founder who was now getting the remaining bits of the pitch, and pledged Paul I would make him a shirt to ward off bad pitches. As it turns out, the pitch might just have been a good one (I am not being negative on your company guys) but the curbside pitch was “Contextual Web Advertising.” I am sure this is music to every VC’s ears: “So your competition is Google…” The rest of the night was full of jokes based on this t-shirts for VCs, and during breakfast the next morning, we seriously started writing down the taglines. VC Tees (a working title of the project) was born, as “Clothing for the Top 2/20% of the population.”
In my ongoing effort to create more, I told Matt that we should do Startup Plane. He looked at me with a cocked eye, glasses tipped a little to the side, “are you serious?” With a stupid grin, I said yes. On our our drive from Bloomington to the airport, the idea was really fleshed out. On the plane, we decided the founders agreement and did rock paper scissors to decide who had the majority stake (I won 2-1 with a rock (w) paper (l) and rock (w). We decided a lot waiting for the plane to board, the name (checked on godaddy via an iPhone) and jotted down many, many ideas for the first batch of shirts.
The site design was hashed out (via WordPress as the CMS and Adobe Illustrator for the shirt designs), plans were made for how we would implement the shopping cart, how much per shirt ($100 is so VC pricing) and what the voice of the site would be. The video of Matt and I on the plane is here.
I think we did a pretty good job of implementing the idea. You can even buy the site with a simple click (and an AMEX Black Card) Check out for yourself at VC Wear.
A few of my favorites are below:
I had a blast doing this, and a few orders have already slipped in, making it so we are actually printing up these. Pretty cool for a plane ride.