Chris Sacca doesn’t ride bulls or rope steers. He isn’t a rodeo cowboy, he’s not a ranch hand and, last we checked, he’s not a country crooner. He’s a billionaire venture capitalist from suburban upstate New York. So what’s with his funky cowboy shirt uniform?
We asked the Shark Tank guest star on the set of the hit show last week and, sure enough, the answer has nothing to do with cattle, cows or country livin’. It’s about consistency, efficiency and keeping it real.
“Every few years I like picking a uniform so I won’t have to think too much about what to wear,” he told Entrepreneur. He adds that people spend "more energy" thinking "‘What should I be wearing?’ rather than about more substantive important things.”
Like Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who donned a signature look comprised of blue Levi’s 501s and black Issey Miyake mock turtlenecks every day for years, Sacca says rather than focus on fashion, his attention should be on more meaningful pursuits. Chief among those for him is Lowercase Capital, the Truckee, Calif.-based venture capital firm he founded in 2007.
Sacca, who wore a classic black, button-down cowboy shirt with ornate white stitching when we chatted with him, bought his first embroidered top on a whim, and on sale. “I picked one up off the shelf at a Reno airport gift shop on my way to give a speech,” he says. “It was 80 percent off, so I was like, ‘Yeah, score!’”
He credits the quirky shirt for helping him quickly win over the crowd during his speech. “Everyone kind of laughed and I realized it just put everyone in the room in a good mood, including me,” he says. “It also reminded me that the number-one risk in business is starting to take yourself too seriously and starting to believe your own BS a little bit too much. These shirts really reset that expectation.”
Now, the former Google executive says if he doesn’t sport his staple western shirt, people are disappointed. “If I show up to a meeting not wearing this shirt, there’d be some frustration,” he jokes, adjusting his stiff, starched shirt cuffs.
To see Sacca in action, and in his trademark rockabilly shirts, check out Shark Tank’s Season Eight premiere on your local ABC station. It airs on Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. ET.