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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Naming Colorado’s Tech Scene

Comments (24)

I suck at naming things.  I named my first company “Feld Technologies” (yeah, that was super creative, but I bet it made my dad proud.)  I learned an important lesson from that one – when things go wrong people call for Mr. Feld and yell at him.  Better to name your company Costolo Technologies if your last name is Feld.

I then went on to name another company I co-founded – this one that was one of the first email service providers (in the mid-1990’s we referred to this as “publishing email”).  Guess what we named it?  If you guessed “Email Publishing” you are now demonstrating your strong deductive reasoning skills as they pertain to my completely lame naming skills.

At some point, I took myself out of consideration for naming things.  I take no responsibility for any company names after 1997.

A year ago I learned that the “tech scene” in Colorado was referred to as “ICT” or “Information and Communication Technologies”.  This happened during my activity with the Colorado Governors Innovation Council while we were trying to  convince people (successfully) that the software / Internet industry is a key part of the economic activity in Colorado. A side note: we succeeded – as Governor Ritter has recently stated ICT is now the fifth pillar of economic development in Colorado, joining bio, aerospace, tourism, and the new energy economy.

As part of this, I discovered that ICT is a popular TLA in government for referring to software + Internet + communications.  Fortunately, very few people outside of government (except for the government affairs people at tech companies) use the phrase ICT or even know what it means.  I commented several times (especially after endlessly referring to it as CIT) that it was a terrible name.  When asked what I’d call this sector, I responded with “I suck at naming things.”  Kettle – pot – black.

Some of my friends have started talking about a better name for “the Colorado Tech Scene”.  After encouraging them to please please please not use the word “Silicon” in the phrase, I proceeded to bow out of any real discussions about this as “I suck at naming things.”  Recently a group of them got serious about figuring out a name and the guys at Rocky Radar agreed to take the lead on crowd sourcing suggestions.

So – if you have any ideas, send an email to nameCO@rockyradar.com or tweet it with the hash code #nameCO.  Help us replace ICT with something other than CIT.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/smurchie Steve Murchie

    I'll lob one on the first volley: Social Networking and Information Technology (SNIT). :)

    This is bound to be fun!

    ps: I think "ICT" is lame, too.

  • European

    No, ICT does not mean "Software and Internet". That would be ICT 2.0 :-)
    Your local manufacturer of bakelite telephones is as much ICT as the people banging together custom desktops or digging up cables.
    ICT is just that — information and communication technologies, from the silicon (ouch) up to the software.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      True.  I’ve also learned that it includes all the government contractors doing IT consulting work even though they are in the aerospace SIC code.  Oops.

    • http://stickyslides.blogspot.com Jan Schultink

      Dutch newspapers are full of the term "ICT" and it took me a while to figure out what it means (I left the country in '94). "European" is right: bakelite phones are definitely included.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ThinkuKelly ThinkuKelly

    Transformative Information Technology Summit . No one will forget the acronym…

    You could rearrange and do:
    ITTS: Information Technology Transformative Summit
    ITCH: Information Technology Communications Hub *
    TTIS- Transformative Technology Information/Innovation Systems/Summit
    TTCS- Transformative Technology Communication Summit
    303IT- Central Denver Area code and IT. Easy to remember/rhymes.

    More soon…knee jerk thoughts….

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/JChauncey JChauncey

      haha TITS and ITCH are good ones =P

      I also suck at naming things (I am calling my current idea Streamly) and what really sucks is when you find a good name that you like and the domain name is taken =\\

  • http://bradfeldisastud.com sheryl

    hitech for the following reasons:

    1. it is friendly – welcoming new technology with Hi Tech!
    2. has IT in it.
    3. has hi in it for mile high
    4. stands for Haven for Information Technology for Entrepreneurial Colorado Hackers

  • http://bradfeldisastud.com sheryl

    after further deliberation, why not "Colorado Tech Scene" or CTS?

    you dont like silicon (you should see me in a bikini and you would change your mind), then how about "The Tech Foothills" or "Rocky Tech"

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ericfriedman Eric Friedman

    How about COTech

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/joshfraser Josh Fraser

    One thing I learned in high school is that you don't get to pick your own nickname. I think the same goes for naming a region. No one scheduled a discussion to come up with "Silicon Valley". Some guy just started using the term in a few newspaper articles and it caught on. If someone comes up with a good name, it will catch on regardless whether it's officially sanctioned or not.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/dgcohen David G. Cohen

      well said, ScoJo.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/joshfraser Josh Fraser

        I didn't pick that one either. :)

  • Robbinevanston

    Fishkazoo!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bmann Boris

    Whenever I hear "ICT", I know I have to adjust my thinking and commentary into government. I think the "communities" we represent really don't resonate at all with ICT – so rather than *just* coming up with a name for the Colorado scene, I would love to have a name for this "sector" we find ourselves in – digitally delivered products and services.

    Locally, we and our ilk get waved off as "oh, yeah, you guys do those new Web 2.0 companies". As if this tech isn't worthy of attention? Or that only businesses with patents and chips should get funding?

    "New Media" is the other phrase that kills me. It's a holdover from building interactive CDROMs.

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  • kevinmarks

    The name for Colorado startups should be Thin Air Tech, as a) they sell oxygen in cans there and b) it implies bootstrapped magic

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld Brad Feld

      Awesome.  I like this one!

  • http://lessonsoffailure.com Dave Rodenbaugh

    So what was the final verdict on this Brad? RockyRadar's link said nothing about it…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    Mile High Tech.

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