For the past 11 years, I've been fascinated with T-shirts. One of my only struggles to speak to all of you is, you can't be up here with me feeling my T-shirt. And honestly, throughout this presentation, you're not going to be able to feel the shirts that I'm talking about. I really feel for you! But, I mean, I can kick out more than anybody about T-shirts. In fact, this T-shirt here, 50-38-12; that's the fabric blend, OK? Heathered, alternative apparel, Eco Boss v-neck.
I love how it's uneven stitched, I love how the v-neck just comes right here, I mean; look tough, you know, kind of like, "I got it together!" On top of that, I love this tailored side seam. I mean, the first thing you notice was, "Wow, that guy looks like this!", right? (Laughter) In fact, you know, I was thinking about taking off my shirt, just so you guys could feel it, but I have a feeling ... - no, no, no, no, no! - ... I have a feeling like doing that would get the wrong viral shares on TEDx, and they might not even let it out there. But here's the thing: TED is all about creativity, is about making things happen, doing things, and if you're making things happen, if you're doing things part of that, is, honestly, probably, at one point, making T-shirts being in charge of that.
Picking the right T-shirt, I like to think of it, is, honestly, one of the hardest decisions. And in that moment that you're in charge of that, it's one of the biggest decisions in your life. I put it up there with, "Which car should I pick?" - you do all the research - "Which home should I buy?", "What neighborhood?" Even up there with, "What's the right spouse?", "Who should I marry?" Because it's a commitment.
I mean, it's seriously a commitment. You walk into a printer, and they give you this catalog about as big as Montana. They give it to you, and they go, "Here. Pick your shirt." You go, "I have no idea what I want." I mean, let me just geek out here for a second; we got 100% cotton. Those are shirts we all grew up with; the ones you know: soft as sandpaper, fit it as a paper bag; (Laughter) then, we get a next up: 100% ring-spun cotton; up to like the 50-50s, up to the 60-40s - it's all about the blends now! - now it's up to 50-25-25s: soft as butter; then, 50-38-12s, which is the one I'm wearing tonight.
Then, we bump it up! Who'd known that they were able to take bamboo, make it into a thread, and put it into a T-shirt, and saw it somehow? Super soft, though! Then we got this new thing called viscose. What in the world is viscose? When you look in that magazine, you say, "Viscose? I have no idea what that means." Is probably a TEDx talk somewhere in America talking about viscose right now. Then we got made in America, free-trade, organic ... I'm waiting for the day, though, that we offer gluten-free T-shirts because they're going to sell. (Laughter) They're going to sell! (Applause) I'm telling you: somebody out there, somebody out there, come up with gluten-free T-shirts, I will market them, and we're going to be huge together. Here's the thing, though: people love free; they love getting a deal, but they hate junk. I cannot emphasize that enough. They see through that, they see through the free T-shirts, they see through a low, low, low price, and they'd go, "There's no way I want to wear this.
"This is junk. Is is going to scratch me? I'm going to get a rash wearing this thing?" People see through that. So, over the past few years, we've seen so much innovation in just the softness, the fabric types, which is why I'm up here talking to you about all the different types and how to pick the right one. The big thing about T-shirts I just want to emphasize is, they communicate about your brand. When you're in charge of making a T-shirt, they really communicate what is that your brand wants to communicate, what do you believe in. When you give somebody a free , and it's junk, they go, "How fast can I ditch this?" "Are they going to watch me as I go away and throw it away?" My thing is people that invest in T-shirts are investing in their brand; it's one of the best decisions, because we all know T-shirts are something that we all take seriously.
When you pick it out of your drawer in the morning, "What should I wear? What do I feel like today?" People might be out there saying, "This guy is so passionate about T-shirts! Like, "Couldn't he be passionate about something else?" Like, "Where could we apply this passion?" T-shirts: my thing is this; like, I'm in the T-shirt business, you're in the other things.
We should be so passionate about whatever it is that we're in. The world is not looking for boring; the world's not looking for you to go, "OK, this is my job." No, the world looking for you to go, "I want to make a change in whatever industry!" The world's not looking for boring; we've all seen boring. Because I guarantee you the T-shirt printer down the street is boring, but the guy who goes, "Let me help you get the right shirt because this can make your brand look amazing!" And on top of that, people who you give out a free shirt, too, are going to go, "Hey, can I buy another one? For my friend; they need it." I always like to say you don't need to advertise a good party; you don't need to advertise a good party. And honestly, T-shirts are an advertisement for a party. You give it to somebody, they wear it; but if you give them a junkie shirt, they go, "Oh, nuts. I have to throw this away." My biggest thing is to stop selling and giving away junk.
Start giving value, reflect your brand. On top of that, T-shirts are more than shirts. When I look at them, what I look at them as being memories, events. I look at them as experiences, and experiences: the softer and better fitting, the better. Thank you