A rose by any other acronym …

Was the original name best after all?

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This small independent software vendor has plans to produce and market a suite of software products for a particular niche of the manufacturing sector. It’s a market rife with acronyms, and the brass decide they will combine some of them to devise the company’s name.

Of course, acronyms come and go, and after a couple of years, management announces a company name change, using more up-to-date buzzwords. According to pilot fish on the scene, the idea is that a buzzier name will mean a higher stock price when the company goes public.

More years go by, and there still has been no IPO, but one morning all employees find on their desks copies of an interoffice memo from the company president announcing that the corporate name is reverting to the original name. Consternation ensues, until someone recalls the date: It’s April 1.

The only buzz around the ISV that day consists of confusion. That’s the atmosphere confronting the company president, so he spreads the word that the memo was indeed someone else’s idea of an April Fool’s joke. Yes, that certainly does look like his signature on the memo, but that “someone else” must have made skillful use of a photocopier to produce it. The controversy dies down, the company name stays the same, and some 15 years later, the ISV ceases to exist, having never made good on the intention to go public.

Sharky has only ever had one name. Please use it when you send me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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