The Importance Of A Name: Eli Altman

We’ve all heard the saying: “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Seems like a pretty simple rule to follow. The only thing is, we rarely do. We all judge books by their covers, people by the way they dress, and businesses by the names they have.

In a study conducted by Dr. Martin Hilbert of the University of California at Davis, he calculated the amount of information humans process. He estimates that we’re bombarded by the equivalent of 174 newspapers’ worth of content every single day. Yikes. If we didn’t develop a way to figure out what’s worth paying attention to, we’d spend months in the toothbrush aisle comparing claim after claim about which toothpaste will work best at preventing cavities.

The window of time that a person’s attention can be grabbed is only so small. For startups and new businesses, it’s hard to gain traction if people can’t remember what you’re called. A business’s name is often the first thing someone will come into contact with; it’s no small thing. The name is also the first thing to leave some sort of impression on the person on the receiving end.

The first time you meet someone, there are several things you judge them on. When you come into contact with a company or a product, though, their name is, almost universally, the first thing you judge them on. In this episode, Chris talks with Eli Altman, author of Don’t Call It That and Creative Director of A Hundred Monkeys, a naming and writing studio in Berkeley, California. A Hundred Monkeys was first started by Eli’s dad, and their mission is to jump through all of the hoops for a company to get them just the right name for their service or product. If you’re interested in how a company’s name comes to fruition, definitely check out this episode.

Learn more about Eli here

Buy his book, Don’t Call It That