Back to Blog

What's in a Name

John Belizaire, CEO

Choosing a name for a company is hard.

My previous two ventures had a bit of a story behind the names.  

My first venture, TheoryCenter, came from the Cornell Supercomputing center where some of my co-founders and I spent a great deal of time during our undergraduate and graduate tenures.  In fact, we called it "The Theory Center," until our PR firm suggested to drop the "The" from the name. (Does that sound familiar?)

FirstBest was named after an insurance term - the first-best quote.  It describes when an insurer returns the first quote within the range of a brokers client.  We heard it so often during our 18-month research phase that we decided to coin the name and use it as our company name.

Each of these names serves us well and left a lasting impression on our customers and the markets we served.

When I was asked to consider taking the helm of the new venture now known as Soluna, the first thing I did was ask if Brookstone was open to renaming the company.  The original placeholder name was more of a descriptive name, not one we could build a unique lasting brand around.

When they agreed, we decided to hire an excellent name company, Catchword.

After reviewing 100+ names through a very creative and collaborative process, we chose Soluna.  Ironically, it was not among our highest voted names in the beginning. We selected a group of about ten finalists.  

Our goal was to create a name that represented our ethos, our ambitious plan, and one that was unique in our field.  Other things that influence our approach to naming the company included the following themes:

  • Scale
  • Cryptoasset
  • Mining
  • Renewable Energy
  • Global
  • Innovation, Forward Thinking
  • Evocative
  • Serious (mature players, not young, inexperienced folks)
  • Blockchain Infrastructure Company [like Amazon, Cisco, Akamai, Intel of the Internet]
  • We own our destiny (Power)
  • Distinctive Ethos (beyond just money$ - helping to create global blockchain ecosystem)

Soluna sounds human, approachable, while its Latin base suggests seriousness, sophistication.John Belizaire, CEO

The Soluna name and the fantastic design created by our design firm grew on us.

A coinage of sol [sun in Latin] and luna [moon in Latin], Soluna elegantly meets our brand objectives.

Brand themes and story: Soluna tells a rich story, evoking humanity’s most fundamental aspirations – looking up to the great light in the sky.  The sun is ultimately the source of all life, energy, growth, transformation. The logo’s use of a triangle, the symbol of change (delta), for the final letter, a,  in the name, further expresses the transformational nature of the brand.

Little is as permanent as the sun and moon, yet their cycles indicate dynamism. Referencing both sun and moon in the name suggests a stable source of power at all times, day or night.

Soluna expresses the renewable resource of solar energy, while more generally evoking the sustainability and beauty of the natural world.

The name recalls “solution,” which the company provides to the problem of energy-intensive computer applications.

The name also recalls “una” (one), suggesting the comprehensiveness of the company’s all-in-one energy production and computer processing model.

Personality, sound, tone, style, construction, audience, competition: Soluna sounds human, approachable, while its Latin base suggests seriousness, sophistication. It stands out clearly from other names in the general space.

Its alternating consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel construction and initial sibilant convey flexible strength and make the word easy for an international audience to pronounce. The Latin base also makes it easy for a global audience to understand and remember.

Its layers of meaning and metaphor unfold as the customer interacts with the brand, rewarding continued engagement.

By focusing on the company’s vision, the name is not limited to any platform or technology and can successfully serve the company as it evolves.

Finally, we chose Soluna for the brand because it tells our story the best.

Soluna, powering the blockchain with clean, renewable energy that we own and control.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR John Belizaire, CEO
John Belizaire

John is a serial entrepreneur who successfully founded, scaled, and sold multiple technology companies, including FirstBest, an insurance software company acquired by Guidewire, and The Theory Center, a software company acquired by BEA Systems. Before becoming an entrepreneur, John was the lead architect for Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group. He has a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Share this article: