this deck is guaranteed to offend,
provide tragically incorrect advice,
and perhaps get you arrested.
so Fucking Deal with it.
• WTF is a BRAND?!?
• Be Different, Take Risk!!!
• Stand 4 SOMEthing. (or u stand 4 NOthing.)
• Tap Into Humanity: Fear, SEX, Power, etc.
• Be a Hero, or a Villain. (just don’t fucking BORE me.)
• Pictures, Text, Music: they all say 1000 words.
• When It Works, Double Down.
• Be Yourself… Only More So
KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Founding Partner & Chief Troublemaker, 500 Startups
00’s & 10’s:
VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups
Angel: Mashery, Mint.com, SlideShare, Twilio, Wildfire, SendGrid
Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired, Mint.com, O’Reilly
80’s & 90’s:
Entrepreneur: Aslan Computing (acq’d by Servinet/Panurgy)
Developer: Windows / SQL DB consultant (Intel, MSFT)
Engineer: Johns Hopkins‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math
Global Seed Fund & Startup Accelerator
What is 500?
$100M silicon valley VC fund + startup accelerator
30+ people / 10 investing partners
Locations: SV, NYC, MEX, BRZ, IND, CHN, SE Asia
1500+ Founders / 200+ Mentors
Community + Content + Conferences
800+ Portfolio Co’s / 40+ Countries
Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M)
MakerBot (acq SSYS, $400M)
Viki (acq Rakuten, $200M)
Simple (acq BBVA, $117M)
DO! Marketing & BRANDing
(it’s not Evil… most of the time ;)
• Tell a Story, Build a Storytelling Culture
• Identify by a Color, Animal, Number, Word,
or other SINGULAR element
• Create Unique Position in Mind of the
Market, relative to [Visible] Competition
• Embrace & Adopt Negative or Shameful
Positioning when Necessary
• Know When to Get Back to Product
What is BRAND?
• Brand (def): a name, term, design, symbol
that identifies one seller's good or service
as distinct from those of other sellers.
• Branding began as way to tell one person's
cattle from another by a hot iron stamp.
• Branding is usually full of PAIN.
Q: Who FEELS Your Brand?
• Take Risk Early. U Have Nothing 2 Lose.
• Playing it Safe = Death.
• Pissing People Off is OK. (in fact, #WINNING)
• U Can’t Build Brand around INDIFFERENCE.
• “Niche 2 WIN” (see blog post)
• Love *or* Hate are Ok. Both are Good Signal.
Stand 4 SOMEthing.
(or stand 4 NO-thing)
When It Works, Double Down.
• If someone loves u, it’s working.
• If someone hates u, it’s working.
• Once u get signal, try iteration, repetition.
• Once u get repetition, try variation.
• Good artists COPY; great artists STEAL
Always Be Your [SUPER] Self
• Start from the Heart.
• Be Yourself. Be Authentic. Be Comfortable.
• But: the MOST AWESOME, PASSIONATE u.
• Find a feeling or emotion u can sustain
• [sometimes even weakness can be ok]