How do you pick a worthy buzzword for a product that doesn’t quite exist yet? Without a company and/or product/service name you aren’t shovel-ready for marketing; you can’t fully proceed effectively with logo design, marketing materials, promotions or external communication. Sure, progress can be made on other fronts, but we wished for an idealized identity in an instant.

Your [Name] says everything about you – sometimes by design but mostly by reputation. When you don’t have a reputation in a new field, by design takes precedence. Creating a unique and memorable name and logo was going to be an important feature to embed into Project Brainstorm.

No Calm Before the Brainstorm

Dangerous Idea Curve Ahead!

Watch for the Signs

In the mindsearch for name to front a brainstormed idea, a pile of brainstormed (and a few hairbrained) names crossed the groupthink threshold:

  • Coyou

  • Co-pilot

  • Mindgap

  • Thotjot

  • Mindlist

  • Maximind

  • LYF

  • Brainyak

  • Mindstorm

  • wickidea

  • wikidea

    (and so on…)

A lot of company and product name research centers around what is available out there on the internet, and let’s just say that most of the are taken. None of these made up names stayed rattling in our minds, so radar stayed up for something unique.

Scientific Thought Echo

I try to read scientific publications on brain function research whenever I see them. Given that we were in progress to build a quick thought-jot application, I had been wondering how the natural memory process works and how that might be applied to the product in development. Why do we need all these tools when the brain can do it all on its own? Everyone can think all day, but what do they really do about it?

The word engram jumped out at me while reading from the page of a Quanta Magazine article explaining a physical process for recalling memories:

More than a century ago, the zoologist Richard Semon coined the term “engram” to designate the physical trace a memory must leave in the brain, like a footprint. Quanta article

Information Overlord

engram quickly captures inputs

In a sense, the app we were building is refolding data to aid in memory recall – could we learn from the engram process and incorporate the concept in the structure of the program?

engram Fits Our DNA

The word engram made its own permanent imprint on our minds – a brainstorm lightning bolt that fired an instant bond to the synapses. The word itself is old but new research has given it new life. Not a made up or too common word or name (as is the current fashion) but engram might be the most important memory nobody heard of before.

engram (our styled lower case) as a productivity product name is a fortunate and perfectly descriptive tag to apply over Project Brainstorm. It’s short, easy to understand and surely easy to brand. Building the application suddenly becomes more meaningful without that big hole in the genetic code of the product. We fully expect to do the engram concept well and make it live up to its name:

engram is an open source knowledge management application designed to help individuals convert their ideas into actions and to help educate those interested in software development.

Randy Berg

Randy is thankful we no longer need to paint on cave walls and carve in stone to pass on the message.