“Hey Wasabi, What’s up with Your Name?”
With over 4,000 paying customers and 4,000 more in trials in just our first 18 months of business, it’s clear that the word is out on Wasabi… and spreading fast. As the ambassador of our brand, I’m often asked about our name and its origin. People absolutely love the name Wasabi. Of course I’m hoping that’s the case because they’re blown away by our incredible cloud storage offering, but I also know that people love that spicy green horseradish too, myself included.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you about our name, its origin and the industry movement that our hot cloud storage has ignited. Wasabi was originally called BlueArchive while we were in “stealth mode,” a name based on our CEO’s favorite color and our technology, which would transform the data archiving market. Seemed pretty straightforward and simple. But the more I learned about our technology and our ability to revolutionize storage performance and pricing, the more I thought that something this disruptive deserves a unconventional and memorable name, kind of like our frenemies at Amazon and Google. And that’s where the fun begins, because if you’ve never played the name game and tried to secure a domain, well you’ve never lived (or died over and over again). I came up with over 200 names over the course of four weeks, narrowing it down to three finalists, Raging Data (i.e. seize control of your data), Aura Storage (i.e. all data has a certain mystique and aura) and finally, Wasabi.
As background info, our company was developing a new cloud storage platform that promised to make traditional cloud storage as fast and responsive as data that resides on your computer. We had developed a single platform that would collapse all the ugly tiers and pricing models of cloud storage into a single, simple and inexpensive solution. We were in fact delivering the equivalent of what the industry called “hot data.” According to one industry definition, hot data “is data that needs to be accessed frequently. It is typically business-critical information that needs to be accessed quickly and is often used by a company for quick decision making.” Well, with our unique ability to store and retrieve data at least 6x faster than the market leader, we were certainly delivering on the promise of “hot data.” And therein lies the birth of a disruptive new industry category called “hot storage,” or in our case “hot cloud storage.”
With an opportunity to create a new market category firmly within our grasp, the pressure grew to capture the essence of heat in our name. We needed a name that could be universally recognized and understood around the world because we knew the company’s global potential and impact was huge. I was pretty certain that if someone were asked their reaction to the word Wasabi, they would respond with the word “hot” most times. And, as they say, the rest is history, or as I like to think, history in the making.
Over the coming days and months we launched not only the name, but also the most disruptive cloud storage platform to hit the market in over a decade, transforming the industry and igniting the world’s rapid adoption of cloud storage. As a name, Wasabi has become a bit of a viral hit on its own. Everyone is always asking for a piece of Wasabi swag (my kids call it merch and tell me I’m not cool). We came out of the gate with disruptive technology and an attitude. We’re passionate about commoditizing cloud storage and making it a common utility like electricity, serving as the foundation to your organization’s most precious asset and weapon… data.
There’s a classic Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis movie called “Some Like it Hot.” It’s one of my favorite throwbacks. At Wasabi we’re on a mission to make sure everyone likes it hot.