Why addappt - How We Named our Company
The name is a very significant brand component of anything or anybody’s identity.
Parents spend countless hours trying to find a name for their children i.e. their product, with various considerations and make lists. Here are a few we used as parents:
We wanted our kids to have easy to pronounce names. Yes - I go by Ricky Bobby at coffee shops.
- We wanted it to work internationally so it could work wherever they chose to live.
- We wanted it to have character and a personality.
- We wanted it to represent a value that we admired.
In fact for our second one, we couldn’t pick one until a week after we left the hospital.
In summary, it is designed with an eye on the future.
Similarly with the name addappt, we spent countless hours and days doing similar things:
- We wanted an easy name to pronounce (Ok - we fail here a little maybe)
- We are self-funded start-up so a cheap domain name was relevant.
- But most importantly, we wanted it to represent a value.
A value that we lived by personally – yes, if you care about your business, it is all personal. A value that we wanted the company to identify with and be the most important to us in the future. A value that lived forever.
Value of what though?
This is a journey for us - we can control that but we have little control of where we would finally arrive. We have aspirations and goals and we are working towards it but we believe we have far more choice and influence on our today than tomorrow. And if it was about the journey, whom we ‘travelled with’ was the single most critical factor for us. So to focus in, what we spent a lot of time was on the values that we seek within people who work with us to embark on a journey with no regrets - below is one short list we considered:
Like in children, and I know there are cultures where one is known as the ‘son of father’s last name’ etc., we wanted our company to be independent of limitations and so we could be free to capture all the possibilities the future holds for us. We did not want the name to narrowly define our technology product in the market. The product we aspire to create is a living organism, our company - a company that lasts longer than us, a company that changes the lives of people who work here first and then its users, a company that was ‘fun-o-menal’.
There are some advantages of naming a company to define your product but we really wanted to have a bigger calling. I remember really vividly listening to Larry Ellison speak once when he said, choose your competitor carefully since you will become that. Similarly, we wanted to choose our name carefully to make sure we had a bigger purpose in life than to just build a technology product. We knew we were in a marathon. We knew it was going to be tough. We knew we would need to persevere. We knew we would need to be resilient. We knew we were going to have fun. We knew it was going to be exciting.
Adapt was one that captured all the essentials for us:
- Ability to leverage ‘failure’. As Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is to expect different results by doing the same thing over and over again”
- It left no room for ego and/or rigidity
- It provided us flexibility to listen and discard our ‘baggage’
- It gave us room to be objective. I have always said that to be consistently objective, you need to be objectively inconsistent.
- It gave us freedom to change our opinion if good reasoning was presented without feeling ‘vulnerable’
- In technology, it is the only thing that is consistent - change.
- It addressed mobile since by definition, you are continuously changing your location
- It communicated continuous improvement. One of our favorite quotes is from Bob Dylan – “He not busy being born is busy dying”
- It allowed us to work with people better than us to learn and improve
- It provided freedom and ability to question the status quo like corporate politics and games
- It reflected our desire for the long term
- It provided us flexibility of changing the product completely if the market did not like what we had built since we began with it first just to solve our own problem hoping others would want it too. Fortunately and phew, we can now say that most struggle with an out-dated address book and want a solution
But fortunately for us, the name has a product story too - ‘add’ from address book and it’s a mobile ‘app’. Not to mention that the 2 Ds and 2 Ps, bring beautiful symmetry to our logo.
Far more importantly, our product is about managing change - change in your friend’s phone number or their home address for example. We wanted our product to automatically reflect and incorporate those changes so you never need to do any work. We wanted our product to adapt to you and not the other way around. One should always adapt too but for things with a higher purpose than technology in itself - so we hope to give users a wee bit extra time for that.
And yes, addappt.com was available!
Finally and most importantly, the name eventually reflects what your product becomes synonymous with what you deliver for your users. Here are some brands that have nothing to do with the product specifically:
Google = Search
P&G = Household goods
Apple = Mobile Devices
Nike = Shoes
Toyota = Cars
Disney = Entertainment
Pixar = Animated movies
Amazon = ecommerce
Patagonia = outdoor sports apparel
No - we are not for adding appointments in a calendar.