I started my career in the technology business at the intersection of stuffed white shirts and T-shirts and jeans. That was in the spring of 1981 when the honeysuckle and Tiger Lilly’s that encircled my Dayton office were in full bloom and two fledgling companies were battling for the evolving consumer and business technology market.
One company was in Albuquerque, New Mexico the other in Los Altos, California. A few years earlier, one chose a rather conservative and descriptive name, while the other chose a name that seemed more like a produce company than a future technology giant. I’m speaking of course of Bill Gate’s and his business partner Paul Allen of Microsoft and Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne of Apple.
Between that time and today other companies with anomalous names surfaced and then quickly burned. Who can forget Whoopi Goldberg promoting the digital currency Flooz? Or less we forget Kozmo that promised free one-hour delivery of videos, games, dvds, music, food and Starbucks coffee? Each found themselves on the junk-heap of once trending topics that had lackluster adoption rates.
However, there have been tech companies over the year with an array of odd names that have become part of our nomenclature. Companies such as Amazon, Google and Hulu — none of which have a name that is easily identified to the service that they provide.
For example Amazon was going to be called Cadabra, as in ‘abracadabra’. Perhaps the adults in the room convinced Jeff Bezos otherwise — and in 1995 went online with the name of Amazon — borrowing its moniker form the world’s largest river.
Google took its name by purposely misspelling the original word Googol, which represents 1 followed by 100 zeroes. Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page wished to convey the huge amount of data they would provide users.
And then of course there’s our family friend Hulu. Over the past few years, it has become the juggernaut streaming service who’s name has multiple meanings in various cultures. To a native Hawaiians, it means “hair.” In Indonesia, it means “butt.” To those that speak Mandarin Chinese it means either “interactive recording” or “a hollowed-out gourd used to hold precious things.” One must assume the Indonesian definition is not relevant to our discussion.
PEACH: THE NEWEST APP
In keeping with this trend, the new app Peach, has gained traction at the cool kids’ table. As your 13 year old daughter might tell you, “it’s a hip new messaging app that I just gotta have.” The app which was developed by Vine founder, Dom Hofmann allows users to do what just about every other messaging app can do — only different.
Imagine if you took some of the features of After School, Twitter, maybe Tumblr and Facebook and placed them in a box and shook them up. That’s kind of what you get with Peach.
Peach provides access to several “magic words” that when typed provide additional features. Some of these “magic words” include GIF, Draw, Battery, Shout and several others. For example: The word Gif provides a search box that provides access to many different animated GIF’s related to your search. However, as we discovered, some of those GIFs won’t sit well with Grandma.
The word “battery” will quickly tell you how much charge you have left on your device.
Draw opens a drawing tool that allows you to doodle and then send your work to your friends.
Shout provides large fonts that you may use to express your message.
A list of other “magic words” and their features can be found here. http://peach.cool/support.html
Unlike Snapchat, Kik or Facebook Messenger, you can’t privately message anyone, however, you can share such things as your status, pictures, videos, location — as well as blow someone a digital kiss.
Of course no self-respecting app would hit the streets without the obligatory “celebrity” accounts. Although most of these accounts are likely fake, I’m certain the real McCoy’s will surface as soon as the Kardashians and Jenners tell us that they’re ready for primetime.
Most of us can’t imagine the need for another messaging app, but it is the buzz of the school yard and most certainly to Silicone Valley investors. However, picking which apps kids will be using in the future is a difficult task. What’s cool today is often quickly forgotten.
WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW: APP FAILURE
As the melodist Carol King once asked, “Will you still love me tomorrow?” Sadly, when it comes to most apps, the answer is no. But it’s not you… it’s me.
According to a recent survey by marketing firm App Promo, 59 percent of apps don’t break even, and 80 percent of developers can’t manage their business on revenue from apps alone
Could Peach simply be a one-night stand like so many apps before? Absolutely. However, keep an eye out for this one as the weather warms and teen’s visions of rainbows and unicorns begin to spell the dawning of spring.
Picking a winner in the technology field is never easy. There are always more losers than winners.
SOME CONCLUDING TECH TRIVIA
Interestingly, as a bit of tech trivia, with the original “personal computing” revolution, both Microsoft and Apple eventually found success. Of the original founders, only Ronald Gerald Wayne of Apple rolled the dice and lost. He sold his shares back to the company for $800.
Perhaps Peach founder Dom Hofmann might want to let his bet on Peach ride at least until the first blossoms of Tiger Lilly’s and honeysuckle in the spring.
As the app matures we’ll provide more information.