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Nov 27, 2017  |  One of the questions that I get the most about our company is “Why the name WorkTango?”

Quite often, it’s followed up with a smile and a comment around how people love it. Other times, however, there’s a confusion about what it really means. But I love the general curiosity people have of where it came from.

So I thought I’d share it in a post!

Before we started WorkTango, my CoFounder Nadir and I had developed the idea and concept for the company and were pretty far down developing our MVPs until we realized we should start thinking about a name for the company.

Before getting into that story…

…there was a temporary name we had before WorkTango. At that time, the stealth name for the company was…  “Butter Chicken Pasta.”  Given both of our heritage and backgrounds, we always had joked about creating a company that would sell the best of both Italian and Indian cuisine (someone beat us to the punch btw). I still regret not doing that!

The best part…. our Slack account and other tools we use still have that name!  It’s always funny when new staff wonders what Butter Chicken Pasta or BCP means.

Anyways, we were sitting in a coffee shop on 3rd & Harrison in San Francisco one morning and I presented a whole bunch of slides on our messaging, positioning, and what we wanted the company to stand for. Then came the slide with several ideas for our company name.  I thought it would be fun to share that below:

Ok, so before I continue with the story (and get deservingly ridiculed), these were just ideas to spark a conversation!  As I look back at this slide for the first time since that day, it’s pretty embarrassing and funny to see what’s on there.  A few made me laugh out loud:

  • “Shave” ?!?!? We were going on daily habits apparently…
  • “Relaish” – like the poppy way to say Relationships – building better relationships with leaders and employees (this one cracks me up)
  • “Skizzle”- maybe I was tired
  • “Buchipa” – yup, a more punchy Butter Chicken Pasta

Nadir looked at the slide for a while and was pretty silent.  He probably thought I was a nutcase.  But I’ll never forget when he spoke and the way he said “I kinda like WorkTango.”  Secretly, I was all “ButterChickenPasta” warm inside because for some strange reason I loved the name too.  Way better than all the other ideas.

We chatted a bit more about it and were very well aligned on why we loved it.  We wanted to build a fun company filled with passionate people all aligned towards a similar vision and goals.

WorkTango allowed us to show our colours of being a passionate company.  The Tango is a very passionate dance that requires two people to be in sync, and felt that it was also important to be in sync for leaders and employees in organizations. People should enjoy the workplace and we wanted to help companies built that environment through helping employees have a voice and giving leaders actionable insight. Work should be great for employees.  Tango’s are fun and passionate and people need to be aligned to succeed.  There you have it. WorkTango.

It wasn’t really a debate, we both liked it and we did what most people would do next… see if anyone had it and if we can get the domain!

We immediately realized someone had the .com, but heck, .com’s are pretty overrated so we bought the .io, .ca, and were really pleased that we found something we liked.

What happened next?  We later that day excitedly told six people about our new found name… and they all hated it. “What does it mean?”  “It’s too hard to say!”  “It needs to be more professional!” “What do you mean you didn’t get the .com?!” We were a little demoralized by the end of the day.

We slept on it… and upon chatting the next day we were both aligned again. We loved it. We weren’t going to change it. We were now WorkTango (sorry Buchipa).

And that’s that.  Since then we’ve had a lot of great feedback. It’s helped shaped conversations internally about our value sets of working hard, but having fun while doing it. We created our “W” to show both concepts of “enjoyment + workplace” and “aligned leaders + employees” coming together in the middle to create something great. We had the name and the logo nailed and we were off to the races.

Like any new company, you always debate taglines and other ways to get your message across. We wanted it to be inspirational as opposed to a functional association of what our company does.  It needed to be what we BELIEVED.

We chose to focus on what we call our Passion. We decided that most companies had a mission, but we knew this wasn’t going to be like most companies.  We wanted to be different.  We ditched the concept of Mission because missions end.  Instead, we created our Passion to improve lives at work. 

And that’s the story of why we’re WorkTango and what it means to us.  We love working with customers that share that same passion that we do.

…one last addition to this story is that a friend of ours one day went to trying to go to our site and thought that was our website url.  It wasn’t working and up for grabs.  He bought it for us and gave it to us (THANK YOU so much for THAT).  Certainly beats the money we offered to try to get it in the early days and got turned down 🙂

If you like any of the other names on that list above – feel free to use them all – except any variation of ButterChickenPasta – that’s now personally trademarked 🙂