Paleoflow

Why is this company named, “Paleoflow?”

Here’s the abbreviated history:

In January 2006, a friend and I were brainstorming domain names for a few business ideas. The concept I had latched on to was a shopping site that would be formatted exactly like the Drudge Report with the news copy format, stark black links on white background. Instead of news links, however, there would be product links. Just as Matt Drudge points to news articles, we would link to products we found around the web.

This was just before social started taking off, and it had an ever so slight social element to it as well, in that users could view the number of hits each product had received within a certain amount of time, measured in minutes, hours, or days. I imagined a “PF” button springing up next to products all over the web that would act as a vote to include the product on the site.

I still like the idea, and I think Drudge’s site is brilliant and its style should be copied more often, even as some sites go increasingly more complex. I’m fine with complexity, but I absolutely prefer simple.

Anyway, we needed a domain name for this website. By accident the other night, I came across the notebook used during our brainstorming session. In the notebook, I scribbled a number of words and combinations of words. One of them that I really liked is the word, “paleo.” Unfortunately, paleo, as you could expect, was taken. So were other words I had listed, like “steal” and “grease.” I have no idea where those came from, but I am equally perplexed with paleo’s origins!

So we started thinking of words that rhyme with paleo, and after finding that “paleojoe” was, incredibly, also taken, we settled on a cool combination of words.

Paleo + Flow

paleo = ancient, prehistoric

flow = continuous progression

And that’s how it started. I registered paleoflow.com, launched a rudimentary site, and then life got in the way with the birth of my twin children, losing my job, starting an insanely busy job (while caring for twins), and then moving cross country to my current home.

When I became totally obsessed with the idea I’m now pursuing, I thought of a number of names for the company and none of them seemed right. Then I remembered paleoflow. I checked and still owned the domain. Even if I had let the domain registration lapse, I am pretty confident that the domain would have been available again! I called my friend and co-conspirator for his blessing to use the name for this venture, and he, of course, agreed.

What is absolutely awesome about this story is that you see how totally made up the name is. The name, I thought is kind of quirky, it gets your attention, yet it has some meaning to it when you sit and think about it. However, my “paleoflow” google searches over the years never returned any valid hits, with exception of my site, until last year when I searched and found that it is actually a word describing the ancient ripple formations preserved in fossilized sediment. Now, how cool is that?

Paleoflow’s tagline, “New tools, classic ideas,” seeks to add another, complementary, if not antonym-ic meaning to this definition. “To paleoflow,” in my mind, is to look at that fossilized ripple – see the direction it was going eons ago, and apply a technological feature that carries it forward. This doesn’t apply 100% to the device I plan to sell, but hey, it’s close enough.

By the way, the old paleoflow site sketch I whipped up in 2006 looked like this: http://web.archive.org/web/20110203114125/http://paleoflow.com/. I think a site like that could still catch on, only it will be missing that great name. Maybe greasesteal.com is available?!

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