Adaptive product naming

A favourite saying of mine is Phil Karlton’s quote about hard things to do in computer science.

There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things.

— Phil Karlton

I can’t say that cache invalidation has given me major issues in the past but naming things has always been a challenge. If I was to take this beyond the realms of programming though, I would say that naming anything is a difficult thing to do.

My portfolio of web applications include DailyMuse, Markcase and WriteAbout. I find it hard to get away from the compound naming theme. It’s just a way of naming things that I stick with. It’s easy to do, but it feels like it lacks imagination. I would love to come up wth alternatives that don’t follow this convention but everything I have come up with didn’t feel like a good fit.

The other thing I don’t like about compounded product names is deciding whether to upper-case the second word or leave it as lower-case. GitHub’s branding is clear that they favour upper-casing the second word, but there are examples of other brand names that are made of two words that just user a lower-case word for the second word. Take Feedbin for example.

For my bookmarking service, Markcase, I choose to use the lower-cased form instead of MarkCase, and I have to say I prefer it.

I’m working on something that is bigger than anything I’ve worked on in the past. I’d like it to become my full-time gig eventually so it’s quite important to get the naming of it right. I do have a name for it, but I’m torn between whether to use the upper-case form or the lower-case for.

I am edging towards the lower-case form. It reads easier and looks better in the different styles that I have for it.

I find all aspects of branding and marketing quite a challenge. I’m creative to an extent, but I’m definitely not well-versed enough to launch a huge marketing campaign. To get my product off the ground though, I’m taking little steps in executing it and learning as I go. I might not always get it right to begin with, but adapting the product and the marketing as I go, is better than not doing anything at all.