Earth Notes: Radbot Origin Myth 2 - Overnight Success? (2016)

Updated 2022-10-10.
"Overnight Success?" - Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it is a radiator robot with AI! #webcomic
The Continuing Adventures of Radbot!
panel 1: Cornelius: I tried running an ad in the papers, I tried broadcasting my message with a megaphone...
panel 2: ... but nothing seems to work to finance our project, Radbot. I guess we'll just linger in obscurity for eternity.
panel 3: Mark: Did I hear you correctly? You are in need of assistance? Cornelius: What the Dickens? Mark: You may have created something fantastical with Radbot, but you need someone with business sense like me to sell it!
panel 4: Cornelius: Thanks, but no thanks. A genius only works alone. Mark: I am afraid that's not possible. I already hired a team of specialists to help you out!

Radbot Origin Myth 2 "Overnight Success?" (Copyright © 2016) , editor .

The lone tech wolf is rarely going to change the world, IT fantasies and movies notwithstanding. To be successful there usually needs to be a team, including communication and business skills. The tech is likely a tiny part of the overall effort that a startup needs to put in to solve the problem that it's aiming to address...

And that's just the rational hurdles!

Confused? You will be!

Tune in next time to find out how Radbot aims to get funded and go large on the world stage!

Back Story

When you start a project it all looks easy. Many business plans show sure-thing world domination in 17.5 months from product launch.

Why does it in practice take many many years to become an overnight success?

And why is it unlikely that a lone wolf will know everything that needs to be done? Or how to do it well?

Here's one such rude interruption on the road to fame and riches. Before you can start telling people about your shiny new product, you'd better have a good name for it, and selecting or creating one is not trivial!

I said in Adventures in (re) naming your business: Fire up the 4-syllable random name generator that choosing brand (and company) names is sometimes less ... uh ... deterministic than someone with an engineering mind-set might like:

Here's one of the tools that I put together to help on a previous occasion, that invents four-syllable names with extra lashings of “q” and “z” and “j” and so on, not already registered as domain names in common places.

It produced a name that reached the final two for my last startup.

This time we did a grown-up thing and found a branding agency.

They gathered from us what we're trying to achieve with the product, what our “values" are, what our customer demographics are likely to be, and what customers would want from our stuff, and then punted various name and design ideas to us.

All a lot less woo-woo than I had feared.

We did have a few mis-steps, such as the agency's favourite proposed name already having being used by a number of people in our field, given that it's kind of obvious if you have an engineering bent, and our suggested alternative bringing up terrorism when you started to type it into a popular search engine. Oops.

In the end, while ruminating with one of our business advisors about the name clashes above, he coined the winning name for us (thank you Rob!), and it was folded into the rest of the design work in short order.

I'm happy with the product/brand name and the logos and other design elements that emerged; now all we need is another cape...