Give everything a name

When a new little human comes to life parents, give him a name. They take much time and care to find a proper name. A name which sounds good. A name which is future-proof (“will other kids make fun of him?”). A name with deep meaning. It should be the same for every service, idea, product or feature we create.

 

A good name sets the culture of your service. A few years ago I helped2 an NGO to find a name for their local headquarters. They could just call it “the office”. People called each other local office like this. But here they are in this new region where nobody knows that organisation. The NGO staff wanted to show people that they were popular, down to earth and local. The street in which the headquarter is located is the “Street Max Huber”. So after a few research, they chose the name “at Max”, or “Chez Max” in French. That wasn’t the official name; it was the name they used verbally. It was the name they used when they were setting up meetings. “Okay let’s meet at Max”. This name had all the attributes they cared about. It wasn’t a simple thing to spread that name. In the first weeks, the team forced themselves never to say the word “the office”. They had to create a habit. After a few weeks, the habit stuck in the group. After a few month, the habit stuck in the population. Today it’s just normal to call that NGO local office “at max”.

For things, creators care about they should give them a proper name.

If something is necessary for the service author, it should have a good name. A parent states that the child is now a human and living soul by giving him a name. A creator does the same with his creation. Of course, not every feature or part of a service should have its own name. But the important part should have one. When they have one people, notice the importance of that place, feature or product. And the name gives specific attributes to it without even having dealt with it.