SAFE Network is a terrible product name [Clickbaitish]

Yes that’s what I was trying to articulate.

Very good point

My belief is that it will eventually be irrelevant how it is called, because if the network is successful it will become the default system for networking, storing and hosting. It will become ubiquitous to the point that we wouldn’t even need a name to call it, in the same way that nobody these days they say that they are using the “internet”, they simply name the app they use.

That’s it, never got why SAFE Network needed to be “sold” and therefore “branded” at all. Your internet didn’t and neither did railways, bulb or coke, the powder?

As I see it our only worry is an “Irvine” being turned into another - nicely branded - self-driving vehicle for the girls to do their shopping?


Look at what happened earlier:

When Nikola Tesla discovered alternating current (AC) electricity, he had great difficulty convincing men of his time to believe in it. Thomas Edison was in favor of direct current (DC) electricity and opposed AC electricity strenuously. Tesla eventually sold his rights to his alternating current patents to George Westinghouse for $1,000,000.

Things being still OK at this point in time:

After paying off his investors, Tesla spent his remaining funds on his other inventions and culminated his efforts in a major breakthrough in 1899 at Colorado Springs by transmitting 100 million volts of high-frequency electric power wirelessly over a distance of 26 miles at which he lit up a bank of 200 light bulbs and ran one electric motor!


Despite having sold his AC electricity patents, Tesla was impoverished and in debt when he died.

Also, this was 1943 and therefore a matter of ‘National Security’ in the VS:

Two days later [after the funeral service], the FBI ordered the Alien Property Custodian to seize Tesla’s belongings, even though Tesla was an American citizen. Tesla’s entire estate from the Hotel New Yorker and other New York City hotels was transported to the Manhattan Storage and Warehouse Company under the Office of Alien Property (OAP) seal.

John G. Trump, a professor at M.I.T. and a well-known electrical engineer serving as a technical aide to the National Defense Research Committee, was called in to analyze the Tesla items in OAP custody. In a box purported to contain a part of Tesla’s “death ray”, Trump found a 45-year-old multidecade resistance box.

Whereas his competitor did stray into other fields unhindered by financial troubles:

Edison’s Concrete Piano

Eventually, a manufacturer did indeed take up Edison’s piano vision, too. The wellrespected Lauter Piano Company, which manufactured pianos from 1885 through the 1930s (and beyond) in Newark, New Jersey, produced a version of the concrete piano. The model looked for all intents and purposes like any other 5-foot baby grand. A patent for the manufacture of a piano case mold was issued in 1931. The patent describes a system whereby a mixture of materials, including sawdust and Portland cement, an inexpensive alternative to wood, are poured into molds to form the case of the piano

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It is not about selling, it is about remembering who you are. It is about making non-painful at all the process of finding you who you are and what it is about.

It is completely irrelevant to commercialization, it is about discovery.
Btw, the rest of your post is completely off-topic.

A marketer’s idea is that a catchy name might speed up the adoption process and they see the commonsense narrative of how “good things always come the hard, slow, painful way” as outdated.

Did click on a like for your post but this concerns the OP stating “SAFE Network” is a terrible product name.
Followed by an in my view exemplary, albeit longish example of what happened to a “product name”, Tesla, albeit having AC motors in it.

Like when they take a look at the Internet, 50 years into which one is still struggling to use it in a responsible manner and in dire need for a replacement like “a” SAFE Network?

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Where is a “product name” in any of your examples?
Are you confusing patents with “product name”?
Btw, you don’t seem to understand what happened there, wherever your source is.

Tesla never sold the patent to Westinghouse, it was donated to them because they were about to fall into bankruptcy (thanks to Edison’s smear campaign) and Westinghouse needed Tesla to lower his royalties or temporarily rescind his royalties to be able to stay afloat. But then Tesla, to the surprise of Westinghouse, literally ripped the contract and he relinquished his rights to receive all royalties permanently.
He then signed a contract to licence in perpetuity for a single lump sum of 250k USD.

So, yeah, your facts are not accurate.
In any case, there is nothing related to brand names in your example.
The actual brand names for both were Edison’s General Electric and Westinghouse Electric Co.

At that time, the former was the synonym for Direct Current and the latter for Alternate current, and as brand names they survived for more than 130 years.

@piluso errh, I’m not into Tesla but for having watched David Bowie trying to do Tesla posthumous justice in a moving picture. Will happily accept your version of events because it equally well helps to illustrate distances men, Nikola Tesla, David Irvine have to go in what is said, following a vision? And true, can’t fathom how it feels being used as the company’s namesake. Having someone else sauntering in along the way, saying, terrible product name?

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Perhaps there is an irony here - maidsafe is unique and easily searchable. At least, as long as it is spelt correctly.

“as long as” → bad.

In any case, as bad as it is, “MaidSafe” is still miles away better than “Safe Network”.
At least it has the “WTF factor” when you have to correct them as “no, no, it is not madesafe, it is maid like a house maid”. But having no friction is ideal, so no homophones. If you have to explain or correct someone, it is already a fail.

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I wonder what people would think if somebody said they were not only going to create one of the foremost design companies that would truly personalize computing, but that they would also name their product portfolio after a piece of fruit. How on earth would people search for it? The name could refer to one of a million things. And yet, here we are with over 1 billion Apple devices defining how people create and interact with the world.

Much like no one refers to Mac’s as Macintosh Computers anymore, and consumers transformed Federal Express into FedEx, I am sure that–once live and ubiquitous–the world will christen the SAFEnetwork with a nickname that sticks. Betwixt now and then, I think “SAFEnetwork” precisely delivers on the aims of a name (and better than most, I might add. What on earth does Substratum or Skycoin signify anyway? It’s ironic b/c they’re supposedly trying to do the same thing but they’re kind of like antonyms. Alas, I digress…).

The aim of a name, I believe, is to identify and signify value. Maidsafe is building a network. The value that network brings is Secure Access For Everyone. Sounds like they kind of hit the nail on the head. Moreover, much like people, actions imbue names with true meaning. “Apple” is a great name for a consumer electronics product because of how the devices operate. When the network goes live, we’ll know the true value of the SAFEnetwork brand. My two cents.


You could argue though that the “Apple” brand had a name or at least a familiar connotation already going for it since the Beatles had put up their own record label called “Apple” in the late sixties. Thus the Apple computer may have kinda evoked something people were familiar with. Not a ground zero for sure.

Of course, the value based on the actual products shaped up a completely different image after a while, but the name, I think, may have caused a buzz back in the day. Just a guess.

Well…could be. I’ll have to defer to you on that. The reference is a bit before my time. :sweat_smile:

Still, I think the point still holds that what Apple ultimately delivered defined their brand capital.

It was decades before I first saw the light too, but given that the Beatle Apple started around 68 and the Apple Computer around 76, they were close enough for the sixties uproar memories to be still relatively fresh, perhaps consequently endearing the strange new thing yet again called Apple.

But even without the Beatles, an apple still represents something we all know and like and wanna grab. It’s sweet and juicy and organic. I think that’s pretty cool vibe to ooze when selling a tech. So people probably liked the name and logo even before they bought their first Mac.

Yeah, the value wins in the end, but they all count, and it’s true that until the network is live and buzzing with new projects, SAFE as a noun evokes something cold, square and heavy. Something designed to keep you away unless it’s yours.

A detail? In the grand scheme, not so important, but still a decent and very visible part of the whole. On the other hand, I can’t think of something better at the moment, therefore I remain SAFE-friendly.

Wonder no more, the Safenetwork moniker was chosen by this community.

If you want to wield a wrecking ball, aim it at this community, not at Maidsafe.


People in to the beatles were not really worried about the label name for various reasons. Also different crowd too. So I doubt there is much connection. Also the USA had the Monkeys.

Yes I lived through that era and the Beatles fans were into other things than computers for the most part. The rest who enjoyed listening to the beatles were not so interested to take notice of the brand.

The point I guess many are trying to make is that the “product” is what makes the brand name famous. Like Coke Cola, Apple, etc. Even the car market, FORD, Japanese Cars are all named after people. IBM is short for 3 words. DEC was short for 3 words yet the brand names IBM & DEC were world famous. Compaq was the name compact. We are littered with very successful companies where their “brand name” was terrible till the product took off.

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Maybe we could get a modern day version of Ed Sullivan announce “Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome . . . . SAFE”


Again, those names are not terrible because it allows you to immediately identify the brand.
Being aesthetically not pleasing or cacophonous are not the measure for good or bad name.
It is about being confusing, easily misunderstood or needing clarification.

Every single name you mentioned are good ones because you don’t need to add an extra sentence to clarify which one you are talking about.

If you went to a computer store and asked for an apple, the salesman would instantly identify which brand you were talking about.
They could also have named it “the smelly ass broccoli computers Co.” and that would still have worked, it looks aweful but that will definitely stick out.

A terrible brand name would had been “Computers Co.”, just by mentioning it no one would be able to understand if you were talking about a generic computer or Computer Co’s computer, unless you clarified what you specifically were referring to.

There is a LOT of psychological research behind the creation of a brand name and a product name.
To the point that you might think it is not good, but you end up buying it anyway.

A rational thinking would be to simply make a portmanteau, or values or even describe the product literally.
But if you have all of them and yet it is not uniquely identifiable, then it is a bad one.

One modern rule of thumb is: imagine you heard about it the first time and you go to Google it. It should unambiguously be the first result. The frictionless discoverability is the key.
If it is unique enough that even a misspelling will make Google to autocorrect towards my brand, that will be the proof of the pudding.

For example, you may argue that “Koenigsegg” is a horrible name. But it is great. Try to type that brand without looking at it’s spelling, horribly botch it if you want. It will still be uniquely identified.
Even if you type ‘Koeigse’ will take me to the car brand.

So if I was casually talking about this brand to a stranger, and then he wants to find more about it at home, I don’t need to worry if he might have or not written down the spelling exactly.

The key elements are:

  • Not having to worry if the casual listener will be typing exactly the right spelling is a great place to start.
  • Allowing the audience to immediately and unequivocally associate the product/brand with the name (hopefully associated with a positive emotion)
  • And be sure it is unique and not trademarked. Check potential diminutive/abbreviated forms as well. People tend to abbreviate to the prefixes, first and second syllable, or the first word (if it is a portmanteau or a compound word), having that trademarked by other company would be a blow.
    Imagine if Coca Cola wouldn’t be able to use ‘Coke’ because it was registered by Pepsi.

The rest are just bells and whistles.

Only after they made the name. Before that people went “Apple” what. Yes Apple wasn’t recognisable until they made their name in Education circles.

Sorry you just reinforce that

Well, I don’t really need this point explained. It’s easy to grasp and so simple it borders on lazy. It also pretty much underscores that the original title was not that far fetched, if the main counterargument is to bury you with truly or supposedly terrible brand names that broke nonetheless.

The point I was trying to make is that Apple was never a bad name to begin with. And not only because it had a strong pop culture connection with something global. What the hell do the Monkees have to do with this? :thinking:

You still don’t get the point.
The ad in 1984 wouldn’t have worked as well if it was named after a generic term that ensued even more confusion.

People after watching the ad if they wanted to learn more about Apple computers, they could simply ask around because it was unambiguous, and they didn’t have to ask twice or clarify it to explain what they were talking about.

Is it really THAT hard to understand the point?