This is the story of how 120VC became #OliveGreen! In 2001, 120VC’s very first website was designed by Daniel Castro and the color scheme was Olive Green. In 2005, we went through a branding exercise with a firm called Sargent and Berman in Los Angeles, where they designed our very first logo. Our first logo was and continues to this day to be Olive Green.
After the crash of the U.S. financial market in 2008, the leadership team was working closely every day to ensure our survival… At some point our beloved Jake Roig said… “Listen, I bleed Olive Green, that’s why I know we are going to get through this! Since then, every iteration of the leadership team has used this term to pick us up, to focus and to celebrate.
In 2015, J. Scott started using the term publicly and in social media as a rally cry. In May of 2016, the leadership team defined the term Olive Green to empower our recruiters and make them the ambassadors of our culture. #OliveGreen!!!
The following is a brief transcript of an interview with J. Scott to discuss #OliveGreen!!!
Q: When Sargent and Berman presented you with their branding designs, why did you select the Olive Green Logo?
A: I think the reason I have succeeded as an entrepreneur is because of my deep desire to challenge the status quo. I don’t challenge it for the sake of challenging it, I just think things can be better, people can be happier. I think I relate to Olive Green as symbolic of a revolution. And I relate deeply to the poem written by Rob Siltanen “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Q: Why did you choose #OliveGreen!!! to symbolize the culture at 120VC?
A: I didn’t choose it, it chose us… I was really surprised when Jake said he bled Olive Green. For me, it came out of nowhere! But it had a profound impact on the entire leadership team. He was saying very simply… We are not only going to get through the financial crisis, we will do it with the team intact. We are going to kick this financial crisis’s ass! We were going to do it because we believe in something. We believe in what we do, how we do it and why we do it. We were Olive Green! Ironically, the clarity in this moment is what caused me to document our first, mission, purpose, and core values. I knew what Jake meant, but I was certain we didn’t have that kind of congruence amongst the team.
Q: Why did you wait until 2015 to start using the term Olive Green outside of the leadership team?
A: Again, I didn’t really choose. I think the leadership team had been using it so long, I had developed a deep relationship with it. It just started happening… I guess I just felt it, so I wrote it. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized most of the team had no idea why I was hashtagging Olive Green. I think they would appreciate its history. Olive Green has helped me make a lot of hard decisions. Olive Green has helped me stand fast to my values when it would have been easier to just take the clients’ money or cut costs at the expense of my team members.