Naming problems

January 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

This one is from couple of weeks ago, on how tech products/services names are derived:

Shore settled into his home office in the hills above Oakland and considered his naming objectives, or what the name ought to do. Taking off from the inventors’ comments, he kept returning to the idea of transport: “It puts you somewhere else.” Shore says he always starts with a simple, concrete idea and then tries to “elevate it to some overriding, overarching idea that is much more abstract.” So he began riffing. Change of place elevated to motion, then motion elevated to speed, then speed elevated to physical space, then physical space elevated to just plain space. “So now I’m thinking about space and location.”

Eventually, he settled on six elements that would serve as the basis of his names. He calls these concepts his creative directions, though other namers call them buckets, places they can dump names that they associate with a given concept. Shore’s were: change (in location and time), entertainment, experience, immersion, presence and reality and, finally, WOW!

With his creative directions established, he set out to find names that gestured in those directions. He asked himself: What would be the sound of going from one place to another instantly? He began mapping the concept of instant travel to the sounds he decided upon. He knew that speed could be conveyed by what linguists call fricatives, which are consonants produced by forcing air through the narrow channel between tongue and front teeth or tongue and upper palate or tongue and molars: f, s, v, z. And he knew that the point of arrival could be conveyed by stops or plosives, which are consonants in which the air flow is blocked: b, d, p, t. The exercise produced names like Slide or Slyde

It is hard to decide whether:
a) this is yet another ingenuous way in which talented people are finding there space in this vast changing business world, or
b) this is just tech entrepreneurs being a little too indulgent in superficial aspects of selling a product/delivering a service

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