September 22, 2020

SkuSpring? SkewSpring? A rose by any other name...

When Matt and I started assembling this project, we had a few things we wanted to sort out before the first line of code was written.  This was extra-hard for us, as we were both rather keen to see the idea come to life in the shape of code, but the to-do list was drawn up and we agreed to hold ourselves to it.

Having just gone through the exercise of helping to rename a friend's start-up company, and seeing the extra effort it took to implement the new name (plus seeing how deeply ingrained the original name was), I was keen to get the company name sorted out before anything else.  

It wasn't easy:  we both had lots of "must-haves".  From "can't rhyme with anything untoward" to "need to be able to get the domain and everything near it".   The early names weren't very good, as can be expected from novices in this field.  I was definitely understanding the words of Karlton.

Matt did a couple of clever things: first, he created our first corporate folder and called it "NoName".  This kept us honest, and made sure that we didn't just use a temp name and have it start to put in tentacles.

Next, as with any good startup, he enlisted the help of family.  His brother provided 27 names.  Some were interesting ("Elefant", "Phish box"), but one of them stood out:  "data spring".  Matt and I spent some time on that but couldn't quite make it work as-is.

We did, after much searching, determine that a "made-up" name was going to be the outcome.   We fiddled with "data spring" but with a tiny leap we got to SkuSpring (phonetic: skjuːsprɪŋ, but it's most easily pronounced skewspring).

The name is made up of two parts:

Sku is an acronym for Stock Keeping Unit (SKU). Retailers use SKUs to identify and track their inventory (stock).  A SKU is a unique code within the retailer consisting of numbers and letters that identify the unique characteristics of a product.  You can learn more about SKUs from Shopify's encyclopedia.

Spring has three meanings in this context. First, as a noun, it is the season of new beginnings.  We believe we're onto something new & novel, and that our customers and vendors will agree!  Second, as a verb, it shows the jumping off point.  More on that in the coming months. And third, noun again, as a (water) source from which much goodness (knowledge) can come.  This leeway in the word gives our soon-to-be-confirmed Creative Director heaps of leeway as we round out the branding.

We haven't quite locked in the name of the sub-components of the product, let alone the names that will be invented as we get deeper into the coding of new modules, but for now are pleased that we were able to register the company and setup all the banking/legal/contracts etc. with the real name.


Want to join in on this adventure?  Take a look at our careers pages.  We are looking for great people to join us!

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