I love it when names fit. When they just feel right. Julius Caesar. Abraham Lincoln. Mickey Mantle. Would Norma Jean have ever become the icon Marilyn Monroe became? Naming is a awesome responsibility. I remember the process of deciding on what to name my children – lifetime decisions to make, and I’d never even met these people! In the end, their names fit them. Thankfully.
I was reminded recently that we once seriously considered a very different name for New Kind. It was a more esoteric name – the Italian word for an attribute that DaVinci considered a key to creativity — ‘Sfumato.’ Its strength as a name for our new firm, we believed as we considered it, was that once someone ‘got it’ they’d never forget it. Ultimately we chose a very different direction and settled on New Kind. Today we are New Kind through and through.
There’s a challenging promise we made choosing a name like New Kind. An organization called ‘New Kind’ can never rest on its laurels. Yesterday’s new kind is not the new kind of today or tomorrow. With a name like New Kind you have to bring it every day. There is an inherent challenge and promise that we will relentlessly challenge convention and the status quo. That we’ll remain open and curious. And that we’ll grow and learn. Being named New Kind is something you have to live up to.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that we at New Kind have a special affection for the celebration of the New Year. It is a time when people the world over pause to reflect on the past, but with an eye to moving forward. Many of us resolve to focus our efforts on what we will become and how we will improve. Like Chinese New Year and Spring, it is a marking of newness and renewal. It is a time for new chances, challenges, and opportunities. A time to create again. A time to gather your experiences and build on them. With every new year. Every new season. And every new day.
Happy New Year.