What a ride – and it is just the beginning. The last weeks have been crazy. Not just did we increase our team size and opened many closed barrels again, to include and take everyone along, we also went with Matthias through a whole branding process and name search. After having stormed through 500+ possibilities, checked 50 names more seriously and having registered another 30 domains hastily… Finally, we have a name — and we are ready for the next stage!
The beginning with the name ”Master & Slave”
Michael and I started off about a year ago with our first name. Micha’s girlfriend Merce came up with the name ‘Master & Slave’ in the brainstorming session before, with reference to Hegel’s master–slave dialectic. When we had our first official meeting a couple of days later (to meet Mo and Simon from Bitstars in Aachen), we registered a domain and printed some business cards last minute — and so we became partners at ‘Master & Slave’.
The name was controversial from the beginning, but we did stick to peoples heads and everybody wondered who is the Master and who is the Slave. This was very valuable for us, getting introductions and finding our way in the buzzing Berlin start-up ecosystem. Even the Telekom showed some love in the end —after telling us right in the first mentoring meetings that we have to change the name— they announced us with a pinch of salt at the final demo day as: “When we saw the name, we had to take them on board.”
Part two of the naming: Moving into Time & Space with [zeitraum]
With branding tools in our hands and a clear idea about our products, we went once more through the whole process and iterated from workshop to workshop. At the end we realized that we forgot important elements to consider — yet another iteration round. But it was rewarding, as it felt a step forward towards our core and goal. To test our direction, we gave some moods and first ideas (timewise vs. soul time) to our community and received valuable and critical feedback from more than 50 people (once more, thanks a lot!).
At the same time the hunt started for free domain names, brand registrations and apps that had similar name. A hunt which felt like a Sisyphus task. Once you felt you had a name that represented our product, there was already another company or product. Finally, behind our time plan, we found a name that fulfilled all our criteria: [zeitraum]!
Stage III: Going international on the Seedcamp Week in Berlin
Happy about the new name and under pressure to release it for the Seedcamp announcements, we elaborated a first design for the German brand [zeitraum]. Which was good, we could put out the idea into the real world and receive full feedback. The feedback from the German mentors was very positive, but native English speaker didn’t have the associations we expected.
And throughout the mentorship of senior-experts from all over the world we got a totally new perspective on our market-launch: we got advised to start the adventure directly on a global scale – so the German Zeitgeist-idea was apparently not appropriate anymore.
Long process, limited possibilities – “vor lauter Bäumen den Wald nicht mehr sehen”
Behind schedule, once more back to the drawing table. Searching another name again — screeching every grey cell in our brains and the nerves of each other. With a common feeling for what we wanted, but very analytical and rational. We all looked forward to an end, a final relive and the capacity to focus on our other tasks. We gave us a final deadline and session, Wednesday evening, with still no clear favorite in sight.
We collected some names, new ones and old ones, tried to separate the wheat from the chaff. And once again at the very last and not from our team, but from my girlfriend Monika, came the crucial proposal: a fantastic, simple and straight-to-the point-proposal which convinced us and all of the native-speaking experts involved.
Our name is…