So... We need to set the stage. We want these articles to become more about work-in-progress, but we need to talk a little bit about what we've already done and where we are going to.
So where do we start? The vision for the product? In a sentence: It needs to be a quick, easy, and cheap way to record a customer's experience. Of course, our goals can and will change with time and experience.
I was actually thinking more about discussing our product process. Let's start off with the name and branding as it exists today.
Overall, as a company we are fanatically iterative when it comes to refining our experience. It isn't just how well it solves your problem - it extends into the branding and how we talk about the product.
I know it is hard to convince some people, but I think it is important for a startup to think long and hard about branding early on. Design thinking has to extend through all aspects of product, including the name.
It is funny to say, but our first product, 'TallyFi', always had a certain sales friction because it took effort to get past the name.
Tally what? Tally who? You do what? It always set the conversation off on the wrong foot.
This time around we wanted to be straightforward. No made up words, dropped vowels or '.ly' internet garbage.
Google and a good DNS lookup tool was our best friend for an afternoon. We kept trying different permutations of our goal until we found an available dotcom. I couldn't believe it wasn't already registered.
We locked in pretty quick. The name was simple and memorable, and lent itself to strong and straightforward branding.
With a name in place, the logo came naturally. It is funny to say, but once we gave the project a name, it became much more real. After that, the pieces just fell into place.