ABB: A – Always, B – Be, B – Branding

I hold public office hours, and do a lot of Skype calls. I always wear a Techstars T-shirt during those calls. This week, one of the entrepreneurs immediately noticed and asked me about it.

To me wearing a Techstars’ T-shirt is an opportunity to promote a brand that I stand for and care about. I also wear Techstars T-shirts in the office, when I travel, and when I go to Trader Joe’s on the weekends. Its simple thing to do, but the implications are powerful.

I also have a style that I use when I tweet or email about Techstars. I deliberately include @techstars or #techstars in my tweets. In the emails, when I introduce a company, I mention that they are a Techstars company in the body of the email and in the subject.

To me, mentioning a brand serves several purposes.

First of all, it is basic marketing – I want the world to know about Techstars. But more importantly, mentioning Techstars and wearing T-shirts is a personal reminder to think about Techstars brand and how I represent it.

The mention of Techstars is the link that connects conversations with Techstars brand. We, as an organization are deeply passionate and excited about helping entrepreneurs around the world to build great companies. In every single conversation I try to help, try to give first. Whether ultimately we end up working together with the entrepreneur or not, I give feedback and try to be helpful.

It is through these every day connections, through the programs we run around the world, through conversations, and hard work that the brand of quality, the brand of giving first, the brand of really caring, the brand doing the right thing — the brand that is known as Techstars emerges.

In Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin’s character has a sequence that has become a sales classic – ABC: A – Always, B – Be, C – Closing. Note, this video is definitely Rated R / homophobic.

Ah…. The maniacal obsession, the fierceness…

ABC is extreme, and is perhaps obsolete these days. But just as Alec Baldwin’s character is obsessive about closing a sale, I am obsessive about branding and always think about it.

Every single conversation, every customer interaction, every pixel is a branding opportunity.
ABB: A – Always, B – Be, B – Branding

Startup Advice Techstars

Alex Iskold View All →

Engineer, Immigrant. Vegan. 3x Founder, Managing Partner @2048vc. Previously ran @techstars in NYC. I write #startuphacks: .

8 Comments Leave a comment

  1. It’s pretty tacky in this day and age to post this video without a disclaimer about the gay slur in the film…we need more awareness about homophobia in tech, so please if you post something that’s racist/sexist/homophobic, even as a reference, make note of it. thanks!


  2. I’m a confused by your new note. let’s be clear: it’s not rated R: it’s homophobic, which isn’t the same thing. I’d encourage you to say the truth: it contains a homophobic slur.


  3. Let me know if you’d like to set up a call to talk about why I felt (and many others feel) that we need to call out all forms of homophobia and make it clear we don’t approve, especially in tech! One of TechStars’ leaders, Brad Feld, is supportive of our Boulder Flatirons LGBTQ Tech Startup Meetup; I’d encourage you to come to events and educate yourself as a straight ally.