Breaking Through the Shit FilterBlog

Why a good name is critical to your success


BY Josh Thurman, Co-Founder at Uffizzi / ON May 14, 2020

Breaking Through The Shit Filter

Why a good name is critical to your success

3min read

Your name is the first interaction a potential new customer hears or sees - it’s the moment when you introduce them to your brand - it’s the moment they judge whether or not you’re worth their time.

Your name is the opportunity to pull your audience in for a closer look or to forever be cast aside by their ever improving shit filter.

As reported by Time in 2015, a Microsoft study found that our attention spans are shrinking - from 12 seconds in 2000 to a mere 8 seconds in 2015 - or for reference 1 less second than a goldfish’s attention span which comes in at about 9 seconds.

Ten years ago I would get an average of 15 emails a day in two accounts and I had yet to dive into any social media platform. Today I get 100+ emails a day across 5 email accounts, have a Facebook feed, a Twitter Feed, a Linkedin Feed, and a Slack Feed. Throw in some news watching, Youtube, and some Netflix and that’s a ton of volume coming our way.

Media bombardments have not only reduced our attention spans, they have helped us evolve to become more selective.

I have 30,508 unread emails and counting in my inbox and I never miss an important email. I am not in the minority here. Our entire society has become particularly adept at tuning out the noise - that which is uninteresting, average, or otherwise not worth our time.

The noise has never been so loud as it is today or than it will be tomorrow.

So now and forever into the future, if you launch with a boring or uninventive name you have drastically reduced your odds of ever being able to break through that shit filter.

We worked extremely hard to come up with uffizzi. I’m talking days upon days. There was no eureka moment where the clouds parted and a great name fell from the sky. The entire time we were constantly second guessing whether it was worth all this time and effort - should we really prioritize naming when we don't even have a product yet?

For starters, almost anything was better than our iteration with “Idyl Technologies”. Is it pronounced “Idle” which sounds like we are doing absolutely nothing. Or is it “Ideal” which is better but super cheesy. (Here’s a tip: if you feel the need to defend or explain your name you probably have some more work to do.)

It’s like we were trying to be boring and confusing at the same time.

This is not without precedent. According to Brad Stone's book “The Everything Store” Jeff Bezos had originally named Amazon “Cadabra” as in “abracadabra.” He changed it after the name was audibly mistaken for “cadaver.”

Honestly, we almost kept “Idyl”. You have so many things to do on your startup journey that it’s really hard to prioritize naming; and when you’re down in the trenches creativity and spontaneity can be difficult to come by.

Uffizzi says everything we want to say - about how we make it easy like uffizzi to deploy applications, and about how we are empowering entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life.

Our inspiration comes from the Uffizi Art Gallery in Florence that hosts the great art works of the Renaissance. Just like its namesake, our Uffizzi is the world’s stage for great applications from the Tech Renaissance. Uffizzi is for people like you. It’s for creators and for innovators; it’s where great ideas come to life.

Here’s the key takeaways:
1. Have a name that can break through the shit filter
2. Don’t decide you can fix it later - you won’t
3. Take the time to do it right - brainstorm, iterate, wrestle with it, dream about it
4. Say as much as you can with as little as you can