My wife and kid are vacationing in India and everyday I talk to my son about what he did today. One thing he always ask me is "Is it night in Pittsburgh?", "Is it night in Virginia?". He finds it intriguing how come the day never happens at the same time in India and America. I guess it is time for a geography lesson for him when he gets back.
So, recently when he visited the Zoo in India, I asked him what all did he see. He started naming the animals ..."I saw elephant..ummm lion...ummm and dad! dad! guess what? I saw mockuptiger!". I had such a hearty laugh at that and I reverted "Are you making fun of my product?". He continued, "there were two mockuptigers, one was sleeping and second roaming". So that was funny and I started reflecting on how MockupTiger was born....here is short history
One of my chinese friend once told me that in China when a baby is born, they drop a vessel on the floor and whatever sound the impact makes determines the name of the baby. If they drop a spoon the sound is like "ching ..ching."..ok..lets name the baby Chan, a big bowl --"chong dong" ..ping...pong...and so on. I guess he had pretty good sense of humor and he fooled me for a while.
In India, babies are usually named as per the moon zodiac they are born in. Each zodiac has a set of letters that you can start your name with and usually the names have origin to ancient Sanskrit words. These names represents various forms of Gods and Goddesses.
When naming company and products, many times the product name itself becomes the company name. For e.g Oracle is the company and also the database but then it creates confusion as you add more products.
Microsoft on the other hand has a different company name than all of its products. Even if you don't attach Microsoft to their product lines you can still recognize that it is a Microsoft product for e.g. Excel, Word, SQL Server etc.
I wanted to have my products a unique identity and let the products be known by themselves.
I think naming products is kind of like fashion that comes in waves.
Microsoft started the trend of attaching the word 'soft' to any other word and you will see majority of the software companies do have 'soft' as the prefix.
So when I formed my company, I obviously named it "Rudra" + "soft" where "Rudra" stands for Lord Shiva and this was in the year 2000. Back then, I was just making games for the Palm Pilot.
When it came to naming the product, it made completely sense to not go for names that are made up as it would be a tough time associating the functionality with the name when you are just starting up.
So my first product "InfoCaptor" is a combination of noun+verb because it signifies information + capture. In this case the verb comes as the second part of the product name and the spelling is tweaked a little to make it sound different but still be a verb.
More recently, 37signals.com started a trend of "Two digit number" + some nound or verb at the end.
There was time when I was spotting so many of these numbers + word name combination websites that I kept thinking who is going to remember all these numbers.
Another trend I believe was started by deliciou.us where you take a word and try to make the last two letters by using the appropriate last two characters as the country code. There are countless examples of these names and I cannot remember any of them and I think the most abused one is the .ly domain (bit.ly..). ".ly" is a libyan domain.
So when it came to naming my new product, I was sure that it had to have the 'verb' in it and "Mockup" is a pretty good action oriented word. I did not want a second verb in the name so all the combinations such as 'mockupbuilder', 'mockupcreator' were ruled out. I wanted a noun for the second part. For the second part, I kept playing all animal names 'MockupDino', 'MockupLion', 'MockupTiger', 'MockupElephant', 'MockupMonkey' and so on. The only name that stuck out was 'MockupTiger'. It has a solid punch when you speak '..Tigerrr' and I was completely sold on it. I let it sleep for few days and even after coming back, 'MockupTiger' was very strong name and still stood out from the rest of the names.
Once the name was confirmed I kept thinking of how to brand and market. This time I was not going to be stingy so I decided to hire a cartoonist and mentioned that I want a cartoon of a tiger that signifies 'Fun', 'Cheerful', 'happy' and 'bright'. After several rounds of pencil sketches the following two poses were finalized.
I had certain picture in my mind of how I was going to build the mockuptiger front page and these poses play a significant role in presenting the information on the front page.
The details of the front page will be revealed shortly as the product nears the launch. Stay tuned.