The power of names, part 1 – why RedQuadrant?

How did you name your company? Or what would you name your startup?

Many people ask about our name, RedQuadrant– is it ‘the quadrant where things get done’, ‘the danger zone’, a strange political reference (it’s not) – or is it a reference to part of the Gateshead Metrocentre or the failure mode indicators of the Xbox 360?

The answer is less glamorous – naming is hard!


RedQuadrant was originally founded by three partners – me, Dennis Vergne, and John Mallaghan. As is traditional, we spent 50% of our start-up planning time on the name for the organisation. Names under consideration included GovTransfom Partners, HanLorGne Consulting (last three letters of each of our names), Eiktree Consulting, Quercus Consulting (Latin for ‘oak’ – there are about a hundred registered at Companies House).

It was hard to avoid anything that was
(a) not fugly,
(b) relatively unique at Companies House, and
(c) available as a .com web domain.

As launch day arrived and the pressure grew, me and my partner Natasa Sears scribbled a lot of individual words on a napkin on a Saturday morning in PAUL patisserie on the King’s Road, to consider potential word combinations.

The actual name was invented when me, Dennis, and John were all on a call which they had agreed not finish until a name was chose.

This was late on a Saturday night, and Hanlorgne was the default. Natasa circled the words ‘Red’ and ‘Quadrant’ on the napkin, we checked the .com was available, and went for it…


So, that’s all – football teams in red win more games, consultants like quadrants… and it’s kind of memorable. We have been called many other things in our time!

John decided not to be a founder at the last minute – we still worked well with him. Dennis and I separated amicably in 2016. I’m glad we didn’t go for Hanlorgne Consulting!

What’s your naming story?


(RedQuadrant is written in camel case (https://lnkd.in/djnrcK9), with both letters capitalised but no space between. Because when I was a teenager, that was cool)

#consulting #startup #creativity #founder #future

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