by Merrill R. (Rick) Chapman
In addition to being the editor of Softletter, I’m ALSO the author of In Search of Stupidity: Over Twenty Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters, a book that’s about just what it says. And when I see something I regard as truly dumb, I take notice.
A couple of weeks ago I received an E-mail from an Indian outsourcing company called “Panzer Technologies” offering their SaaS development services to moi. Here’s an excerpt from the E-mail:
Hope you are doing good today.
My name is Ranveer Singh, Sales Support Specialist with Panzer Technologies. We offer offshore development solutions to our clients and offshore Dedicated Staff Development services. We have a plan, to cut your company’s expenses and make it more profitable. Our prices just can’t be ignored when you run a business.”
I promptly sent back a note stating the following:
That may be the worst name for a company I’ve ever heard.
What’s next? Waffen SS Java?”
I then received the following note from Ranveer:
+++You doesn’t justify you (sic) company name as well, by seeing you your company name should be Hard Letter not soft.
Thanks but no thanks.
My partial reply below:
+++ Ranveer, your company’s name is offensive to every Jew, every Pole, every Frenchman, every Britain, every American, every Russian, every ANYONE who remembers WWII and Hitler’s panzer brigades slaughtering millions. It is an act of stunning marketing stupidity and the fact that you didn’t have the brains to realize you had a problem when I responded to your message and instead chose to resort to a silly personal insult only makes it clear that your company is run by people divorced from reality. +++
Based on the above, I offer some basic advice for naming your company:
Never write “Fly Your Development Even Higher with Luftwaffe PHP!”
“With Wehrmacht Cloud You’ll Conquer the Competition!” is out.
“Torpedo Development Delays With Kriegsmarine Debugger” is not acceptable.
“Don’t just locate business process bottlenecks, eliminate them with Gestapo BI” is a bad idea.
I hope you take my point.