Language is pretty darn awesome. No, I'm not just saying that because I write for a living. Language is how we interpret reality and how we give shape to our thinking. Shakespeare once said a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet, but what if it didn't have a name at all?
Names are far more consequential than we give them credit for. They activate memories and neural patterns when we evoke them. We subconsciously assign and associate personalities with specific names. Do you ever look at someone and think, "She looks like a Rebecca"? No?
So how can you leverage the power of language in your everyday life? Names can be used to reframe your projects to lend them certain personalities, increasing their significance and likelihood of success.
Businesses have leveraged language successfully to create new habits or encourage the adoption of old ones. Snapchat introduced ephemeral messages and gave them a fun name. 'Snap'ing with your friends sounds better than sending your friends ‘a disappearing message’. Given their target demographic, a delightful name encouraged app usage and allowed the word to become a part of the urban vernacular.
Slack stubbornly stood out amongst other productivity apps when it first launched because of its clever name. People wanted to be 'slackers.' Integrating two products has never been an exciting business, but when Zapier introduced 'Zaps,' it gave the whole activity a little extra punch.
Obviously, these products don't owe their success solely to the names they picked, but they played a small part in lending the brands some much-valued personality.
So the next time you sit down to begin a project, whether it's your next GTM play or a trip with your college buddies, give it a memorable name. Words can be spells that unlock their power when you invoke them. Your fitness plan can be The David Project, your investment portfolio can be The Buffet Plan, and you can carve out a Hemingway session daily to follow through on your resolution to write more!
What we're reading
Speaking of the beauty of language, the internet's on fire over OpenAI's new conversational bot ChatGPT. The most sophisticated AI impersonation of a human so far, ChatGPT can hold complex conversations, bargain with customer service to get you a discount and chart the downfall of humankind. While some are worried that the college essay is dead [The Atlantic], Erik Hoel writes about the banality of ChatGPT and why he was underwhelmed by the most advanced conversational bot to pass the Turing test.
If your social media is flooded with AI portraits of your friends and celebrities, you're already familiar with Lensa. You might have shelled out that $4 to get your Van Gogh-style portrait. Sounds cool, right? If you've spoken to your artist friends recently, they might tell you a different story. There are several rising concerns about the shady ethics of AI-generated art [Vogue] and the inherent misogyny in AI training models [The Guardian].
It has really been a monumental year for generative AI. While the internet hive mind grapples with the astronomical consequences of AI with equal parts of amazement and concern, there's never been a better time to show your love for the flesh and blood artists and writers in your life (cough, like the author of this newsletter, cough). If you love The Chargebee Compass, give us a shoutout, share it with your friends, and scream about it from the digital hilltops :)