Back in February, NYU's Stern School of Business was abuzz over a no-holds-barred e-mail making the rounds, sent by Professor Scott Galloway (marketing, vagilanteism) to a student who had written him complaining about being shut out of his class for being late. "Take to heart what I am about to tell you," the professor advised, in conclusion to his sound verbal thrashing. "Get your shit together."
A couple of days later at a new-media conference, Stern students Lola Bakare, 25, Lisa Zusman, 26, and Ron Zember, 28, were discussing the e-mail. "It was on everyone's mind at the time," Zusman told us on the phone this morning. "I was surprised at the tone of the response, but that's his brand, that's what to expect from that professor."
"I don't think Professor Galloway meant it to hurt any feelings or to ruffle any feathers," added Bakare. "It's how he is. He wants his students to be excited, and maybe a little bit shocked."
In time, conversation turned to the phrase, "Get your shit together." The words, so common and yet so profound, resonated with the students.
"It's almost like a motivational phrase," Bakare said.
"We all use it. 'I need to get my shit together, or you need to get your shit together.'"
"The life of a grad student is really busy," says Zusman. "Everyone we know is completely overscheduled and needs to prioritize everything, from classwork, to getting to the gym, to work with clubs. I am constantly having to motivate myself. And that's the phrase we use: It's like our 'Just Do It.'" Thus, an idea was born.
"I was like, you guys, we should put this on a T-shirt," said Bakare. "And Lisa and Ron were like, 'Yes.'"
The resulting product, available in white, pink, lime, and creme on CafePress for $23.99, features a somewhat cleaned-up version of the phrase, "Get Your Sh*t Together," which the students think young professionals will feel more comfortable wearing in public. On the back is a hash-tagged "#nocryinginbschool," a nod to the conference where they hatched the idea and a variation of the line from the movie A League of Their Own. They've already sold 50 or 60 to their fellow Stern students. Still, Bakare says it's unlikely anyone will wear them on Stern's campus. No one in business school wears T-shirts. "That would be inappropriate."
Earlier: You Want Feedback? Vagilante Scott Galloway Will Give You Feedback