Standards.

The IBM PS/2.I once worked for Mark Cuban. Seriously. Back in Dallas, long before he was the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks, he was the outspoken owner of a company called MicroSolutions – a computer dealer. (He later sold Microsolutions and started RadioNet/Broadcast.com, became a billionaire and bought the Mavs, but that’s a different story.) Anyway, when I worked for Mark, I was the “desktop publishing specialist” for MicroSolutions. (The very words “desktop publishing” should give you some idea about how long ago this was.) When IBM renounced the standards they’d created with the PC and AT boxes and released the then-new “PS/2” computers, a bunch of us were sent to IBM’s Dallas HQ for training. As the DTP specialist, I was particularly keen to learn about IBM’s “desktop publishing solution.” Continue reading Standards.

What’s in a Name?

IBM. GM. AT&T. GE. Sound familiar? They are. These are all companies that qualify as “Captains of Industry.” And with good reason. They’re huge, they’re successful, and they have vast amounts of “mindshare.” But when you are naming your company – or your product – do you want to try acronyms or meaningless bunches of letters?

Here’s the deal. All the companies listed above were once companies known by real names. International Business Machines. General Motors. American Telephone & Telegraph. General Electric. They were able to move to letter designations because the public began referring to these companies with that form of shorthand, and it stuck. (FedEx was “Federal Express” long before it was “FedEx”.) If you expect to get the same milage out of two or three letters, you’d best build up some brand equity and mindshare with a name that means something, before you attempt to get a few letters to be instantly and irrevocably associated with your name.

While we’re on the subject, I can let you in on a little secret I know…the secret to coming up with a great name. Continue reading What’s in a Name?

Lingere. Logic. And Lightbulbs.

Um...yeah.

Are you a woman? If not, do you know any women? Let me put this another way…are you a woman (or do you know any women) who, from time to time, buy…um…undergarments? Well, if so, I have an idea that might make that experience a little easier (for the women, anyway). And less painful for the men in their lives. Because is mama ain’t happy…

Here’s the deal. Most women have, shall we say, “strong feelings” about the experience of buying underwear. And if by “strong feelings” you understand me to mean “hate with a passion usually reserved for recent ex-boyfriends, root canals, and income tax audits” then we’re on the same page. Yes, fellow males of the world, women HATE to shop for underwear. Now I’m sure that there are SOME women out there who don’t hate it. We have a name for such women. We call them “Victoria’s Secret Runway Models.” But, I digress…

Continue reading Lingere. Logic. And Lightbulbs.