We Hate our Name, Discuss
I have some friends who changed the name of their child two weeks after she was born. They didn’t finally take a decision two weeks late. They actually changed their mind after having settled on another name.
When I heard the story I thought it was pretty ridiculous. But then I considered the case of Peace Dividend Trust.
We chose the name in 2004. At that time PDT was merely a collection of vaguely formed ideas without a clear mandate, set of activities or direction. We knew that we wanted to help channel more money into post-conflict economies. We had a good sense of how that might happen, and some vague notions of how we could help. The general sense was that we would help create a “peace dividend” for locals in places like Timor and Afghanistan. And we thought creating a trust fund would be the most sensible way to do this. Hence, Peace Dividend Trust.
Once the name was chosen, we moved on to other things, like the actual doing.
It wasn’t long, though, before we came back to the name. We decided it sucked. Why?
- Easily misspelled
- Difficult to pronounce
- Impossible to translate
- Does not communicate our mission or activities
- Confuses people into thinking we are a “peace NGO”
- “Peace Dividend” concept actually not widely understood, even in English
- We never set up a trust
- Very long domain and email addresses
I could go on. But let’s just agree it’s a horrible name
Unfortunately (or fortunately) we’ve been too busy to do anything about it. PDT grew by 50-150% every year for its first 6 years. Every day we were scrambling to focus on the mission critical tasks like staffing – deploying – funding, and not on important but less pressing problems like our terrible name. (Which is also why our website is so terrible).
But this is ending soon. We are getting rid of our terrible name and we’re going to be choosing a new one. With your help. Stay tuned.