• Rob Simpson

When Brooks Brothers Meets Chuck Taylor

Technology is King. The number of incubators, communal workspaces, development and innovation centers is growing exponentially, especially in the tech hotbeds of Boston and San Francisco. Vast numbers of start-ups are creating cutting edge ideas, products and services as never before. Many of these start-ups are boot strapped or funded by angel investors with enough seed money to begin to bring their ideas to reality (or virtual reality as the case may be). But after the prototype is built the next phase becomes critical. Will there be enough funding to continue? Gone are the days of the dot com boom when venture capital flowed like water. While there is a healthy flow of funding to start-ups today, the money comes with pesky strings attached like ‘What will your market be?’ or ‘After five years what is your exit plan so I can recoup my investment and make a great return?’

That’s where marketing and presentation comes in. Investors want to see the mad genius

behind the product, stereotypically in his hoodie and Chuck Taylors, but they also want a sense that this business is serious and has a real plan to make money. Enter the man, or woman, in the Brooks Brothers suit.

Times change, and while we think of there being a defined moment to ‘pass the torch’ to a new generation, it is never usually that clear cut. The successful technology start-up embraces the concept of disruption equally with sound marketing techniques.

The only way to compete is to embrace both. Iron and carbon are useful alone but when combined in the right way they make steel. Start-ups who combine the best of new and old have no limits.

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