We really like words that start with a ‘g’ followed by an ‘n.’
Our iPhone app Gnito came first. We chose the name because it is the suffix of ‘Cognito.’ And Gnito is fun to say, regardless of whether the ‘g’ is silent or not. Please try it out (its just a prototype, but useful!).
When we were naming our enterprise product (now ‘Gnostics’) we decided to stick with the ‘gn’ (partly for consistency, and partly since we were drinking some Gnarly Brown Ale at the time). We were creating an Audience Diagnostics System— and that got us thinking: Cognito|Gnito, Diagnostics|Gnostics.
Our founder likes metaphysics
A little background — I studied philosophy for several years in my undergraduate degree, and never really stopped after that. I like language, linguistics, meaning, etymology and finding the exact set of letters that makes an idea relevant.
The demise of Agnosticism
The word ‘agnostic’ is something you hear sometimes, but less often these days. (True agnostics can sometimes be drowned out by noisy atheisists and religuous enthusiasts claiming to ‘know’ with absolute certainty their position on the existence of God). Agnostics, on the other hand, claim to not know whether God exists. (They are sometimes criticized for ‘sitting on the fence,’ but hard-line agnostics would argue that the existence of God is actually unknowable, by anyone).
Agnosticism can be applied to other things as well (you often hear about products that are ‘platform agnostic’ or ‘software agnostic’, meaning they could swing either way on the topic). The term literally means ‘to not know.’ (From the greek ‘gnosis’, which means “to know” and the prefix ‘a’ which connotes the antonym, or opposite).
There were a bunch of ancient religions (attributed mainly to the greeks, but others as well), whose central them is that through inner reflection, we can come to ‘know’ our true nature.
Some would say Gnosticism forms the basis of Hinduism, Buddhism and even Christianity. In each ‘Gnostic’ tradition, the bonding with the infinite may be reached only through renunciation of all material goods and physical pleasures, and such.
Practices varied among those that those that were Gnostic, but the central philosophy is the same: The infinite is knowable, and, with an unwavering focus on the collective consciousness, accessible to anyone having the right practice.
We like to think of Gnostics (our enterprise product) as a system— for learning, engaging and learning some more, from the social universe that surrounds us. We can always learn more from our audience. And we confirm this every day, by using our dashboard to understand, engage and grow our twitter audience.
We also use Buffer, Mention, HootSuite and SocialBro too. (Often concurrently). We’re learning that, if we approach each communication with love and empathy, we can sometimes participate in real conversations that brim with positivity and energy.
When that happens, we find ourselves in a warm & fuzzy gnosis!