This weekend both of my brothers came back to Vermont. One lives in San Francisco and the other lives in Germany so it’s been great to see them. The brother who lives in Germany actually owns and runs an energy auditing company in Vermont. One of the things he has been working on over the past year is an invention that would not only help his business, but that he could sell to other contracting businesses to enable them. This invention is a smaller and more portable version of a foam sprayer for insulating homes and businesses. This machine is also a lot more affordable for contractors, which is something important for my brother who is an environmentalist trying to making it affordable for home and business owners to enhance the energy efficiency of their buildings.
At dinner last night of course we got on the subject of my brother’s machine. Surprisingly, he suggested that we all try to come up with a name for this machine, since he is considering getting a patent on the invention. While it was a bit unstructured, it was sort of reminded me of the APC strategy. I almost tried to be a teacher and suggest that we just come up with a big list without nay saying any of the ideas. But, it was a family dinner and I didn’t want to kill the mood or creativity. So, we came up with a huge list of ideas, everybody contributing and my brother’s girlfriend started writing them down. Some were really silly, some were kind of bland, and some were apparently already in use by other companies (and therefore were not added to the list). Here were a couple of the ones we came up with:
- foam alone
- foam time
- Mini foamer… the “M-effer” (that one had a VT accent on it)
- bat foam
- foam mobile
- solo foam
- spray n’ foam
- home foam
- where my foamee’s at
- foam caddie (the one my brother and grandfather liked)
It was cool to do a similar exercise with a group of people of all different ages. Some people threw out ideas that were plays on pop culture references that others didn’t really understand. In these instances, we all kind of agreed that despite the idea being funny, if not everybody “gets it” then it’s probably not a good idea for naming an invention. We also kind of agreed that it had to be short and somehow descriptive of the machine. In a way, this limited the possibilities, but it also kind of expanded the possibilities for ideas that were suitable. We all kind of narrowed our focus into a certain category, but then broadened them again within that category. It was pretty cool, and then my brother went onto the patent website to check if the ones he liked were in use. Fortunately, he now has some good options!