En Route to Saenthood:

#25 The Logo Drop

This series is about what I’m learning, observing and experiencing while building our startup Saent (pronounce “Saint”). The good, the bad and especially the ugly, each time in under 500 words.

Brands usually feature their logos prominently on their products. Apple’s apple on their laptop covers. T-shirts with gigantic Nike swooshes. Mercedes cars and their standing star hood emblem. And of course, millions of people toting designer handbags from the likes of Louis Vuitton or Coach, covered in tiny logo letters.

Everyone seems to adorn their own stuff with their unique mark. And why not? The logo represents the brand and a strong brand can be worth billions and billions of dollars. Who wouldn’t show off something that valuable? Perhaps even more importantly, a well built and maintained brand creates a feeling of trust, and can be a sign of quality to the consumer.

But do we really need or want every product we own advertising some company’s brand at us (and the world) 24/7? Do we really need to be walking, driving, working billboards? Is that what we paid for? Sometimes, that is what we want. A car, for example, is often a status symbol, with the status (and price!) largely reflected by the brand. But why does my mouse need to have a Logitech logo staring at me at all times? Why do my stereo speakers need to have Edifier written dead smack in the middle of them?

For us — users — there’s little value in parading all these logos around. But since every company is doing it, we’re kind of used to it and just assume that’s the way it is.

SAENT

Naturally, we also slapped the Saent logo on top of our button. We didn’t even give it much thought, it just seemed like the thing to do. But as we re-assessed every part of the device because of a technical problem we ran into in December, we also considered the placement of our logo on it.

We are going to great lengths to truly serve the interest of our users; later this year, in our software, you will even have full control over in which part of the world your data will be stored. That same data can also be downloaded and deleted at all times, and data collection can be completely switched off (though that will cause certain personalization features to be disabled). We’re certainly not going to have any third-party advertising in the app, and we are considering turning Saent into a Benefit corporation (or something similar), with a constitution to enshrine our ideas about treating our customers, employees and the world the right way.

Here is the new, logo-less Saent button, switched off. When in use, the light halo will still be there, don’t worry!

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