Bootstrapping to a Strong Brand

Jimmy Breslin, the legendary New York columnist, once said, “If you don’t toot your own horn, there is no music.”

Or was it Guy Kawasaki? Or maybe, Damon Runyan? Actually, hold on… We’re receiving information that it was… Wait for it… some dude named Gil Garrity from Iowa?


Whoever uttered these unilaterally infallible words had stumbled upon an awesome credo, and it’s a credo we can totally get behind.

Let the horn tootin’ begin.

(Please read the following to the tune of either Starship Cobra’s “Good Girls Go Bad” or Carole King’s “So Far Away.” Like always, we here at Modify like providing, you, the customer, with options.)


First, some exposition: Every so often, a group of Bay Area startup luminaries, who call themselves the Hardwarians, convene to talk shop. Because this is the Bay Area, the group is maintained via

But unlike, say, that one Meetup group that gets decked out in glow necklaces to rollerblade down from Coit Tower through the Marina (which, BTW, sounds kind of awesome), this group is comprised of some major players within the hardware startup community*.

And on February 13 — which is a Thursday, for those playing the home game — from 7-9:30 pm, the Hardwarians are discussing the murky waters of Marketing.

Awesome. But where does Modify come in?

Glad you asked, other me.

Aaron Schwartz, our fearless CEO/Watch Naming Extraordinaire here at Modify Watches, is giving a talk at that very same meeting, titled “Bootstrapping on a Budget” where he’ll divulge some awesome secrets and techniques that aided in Modify’s transition from a $1,000 start-up to a major player in the world of customizable product.

After all, Modify managed to go from that same $1,000 budget to posting a revenue north of $500,000 in just our second year.

And while he won’t tell you the exact method in which one should go about expanding an inventory of customizable watches from 0 to 60,000**, he will be discussing how we here at Modify built our social following, got our product on the shelves of a big-time retailer, and, perhaps most importantly, he’ll be talking about which channels he found most appropriate when promoting the watches.

So, head over to and sign up for the talk. You won’t be disappointed. And (AND!) there’s pizza and beer for attendees who qualify age-wise.

So, to clarify, this is like an awesome dorm party, but one where you actually get to learn things, yet don’t have to deal with being in a dorm.

By the way, if you actually succeeded in reading this post in a cadence resembling either of the two aforementioned song choices, you not only deserve a medal, but a scientific study. Cheers.



* We don’t know that there AREN’T major players in the neon rollerblading group, but the likelihood of rolling into a quality networking opportunity while cooking down a super-steep hill is slim.

** That information is both classified and highly irrelevant to anyone but us***.

*** (That’s right, a footnote within a footnote! You just got Incepted and didn’t even know it.) Or highly irrelevant unless you’ve stolen our model, in which case we wouldn’t really want to share our secrets with you anyways. We’ve seen Willy Wonka — the good one with Gene Wilder — and we know all about the Gobstopper-stealing Slugworth’s of the world.

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