Tech Tee-Shirts : How to make friends and influence people

Who are you? IT is a big and ever growing industry. Do you just blend in? Maybe you do, and that is fine (and appropriate) but perhaps your role is more of an evangelist, one of the plethora of IT based architects, or even as the role I find myself in today, a Chief Architect.

Do you need to build a brand? What do you stand-for?

I pen this post, because let’s face it. I have an ever-growing amount of tech tee-shirts. Plenty from vendor land, (because I work for, and have worked for vendors) but more so today, the non-vendor tee-shirts are eclipsing the number of vendor tee-shirts I have.

If you ask anyone who works for a vendor how many tee-shirts they have, they will say plenty.

These tee-shirts, I wear them with purpose.

Why Tee-Shirts?
How can you communicate to those who don’t know you, something about yourself, what you stand for, your values, your hobbies and so-on.

Steve Jobs had a uniform (black polo neck, jeans, and trainers) and you knew that instantly it was part of his brand. But I am not Steve Jobs.

Look at Werner Voguels, each year at re:Invent he takes to the stage in a tee-shirt that has the Twitter sphere and websites buzzing.

Tee-shirts are conversation starters, simple as that. They are door openers. It shows people who you are and what you stand for.

If I had a dollar for every comment people make about my tee’s, I wouldn’t be able to retire, but each tee-shirt would comfortably pay for lunch. Today I find myself often presenting in front of hundreds and with each session, there will often be a comment or a conversation about the given tee-shirt I am wearing.

Many of these comments have been green sprouts of a relationship, either with peers, customers and third parties.
Just the other day in meeting a new CIO, she said, “I love that TV show” (Siicon Valley) and before you know it, we are having a 1:1 discussing strategy. A seat at the table……

So, I would ask you. How can you communicate something about yourself, without verbally messaging it?
What is your mechanism?

What is your brand and do people understand your perspective?

My Collection

If I had to describe my brand, in a few words it is about progressive and pragmatic cloud architcture, choosing the right tool for the right job

So I have a few tee-shirts and I o

In this post I will share with you the process of how I obtained my Canyon Aeroad CF SLX:

Where Do you Buy Your Tee-Shirts?
Other than I love your tee-shirt, often the next comment is, “Where can I buy one”.
The reality is, many of these are either custom or non-mainstream and they can somewhat be difficult to find.

The solution here is often to either buy from website such as RedBubble, Etzy, Ebay, or Zazzle with the other option being to make your own.

Other than ensuring you have rights to any image you plan to use. Having a ‘Cricut‘ machine and a press, means you are limited by your imagination and abilities. I often talk of ‘saw-sharpening’ and learning new skills. This has been a journey of learning in itself. Full disclosure here, my wife is amazing and turns this somewhat complicated process in to a rather easy one for me.

Whilst this is not an endorsement for a Cricut machine, they do allow you to dream up and make pretty much anything.

A short one, and really did this post provide you any real value? If anything, I would like you think about what do you want to be known for? (A manager recently asked me this), and secondly once you have figured this out, what mechanisms are you using to make this a reality

Shane Baldacchino

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