Names with stories: The story behind Everykey.com
Everykey is a Bluetooth device that remembers passwords wirelessly. Chris Wentz, Founder and CEO of Everykey, talks about the idea for starting Everykey, why the name “Everykey” was one of the favorites, and why an entrepreneur never gives up.
How did you come up with the idea for Everykey?
The idea for Everykey came from a college entrepreneurship class. All my life, I’ve had problems managing passwords and keys, so I suggested to the class an ambitious idea for a wristband that would replace passwords and keys. The class loved the idea, and the professor offered to invest in it in order to build a real product and real company!
What is the story behind your brand name?
We wanted a brand name that explains the product in simple terms, but we also wanted to make sure that the .com domain name was available. I created a simple program that generated hundreds of possible compound words that could be used as a brand name. Everykey was one of the favorites, and Everykey.com was available for purchase!
How did you get the domain name Everykey.com for your brand? What was the selection process like?
A program that I created generated hundreds of possible compound words that could be used as a brand name/domain name. Everykey was one of the favorites, but Everykey.com was already taken. However, I noticed that the domain name was up for sale, so I made an offer, negotiated back and forth a few times, and ultimately purchased the domain name for a reasonable price.
What effect does your brand have on your team?
Creates a vision/mission that we all strive for, to become the “Everykey” that everyone uses, a ubiquitous device that people associate with security and access control!
What are the most common misconceptions people have about their passwords and digital security in general?
Most people realize that having the same password for everything is not a good idea, but the majority of people are still using the same password (or some slight variation) for everything. Many of those people think that they aren’t the type of person to get hacked and that it will happen to someone else instead. Unfortunately, this is why there was over $2 Trillion lost last year due to data breaches, with the number one cause of a data breach being poor password management.
What has been the hardest part of building EverykKey as a product?
Different phones and computer manufacturers will do things differently when it comes to Bluetooth and encryption. It has become challenging for us to make Everykey compatible with all devices, because of these differences between different hardware manufacturers. For example, once we fine-tuned the Everykey for Android app to work on Samsung phones, we found that other Android phone manufacturers implement Bluetooth and the lock screen a bit differently. This issue is compounded by the fact that in order for Everykey to live up to its name, it has to work with all major operating systems and web browsers.
How did you attract your initial users? Has that process changed since?
We attracted our first customers through Kickstarter and Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns. Since then, we’ve shifted to selling through Everykey.com and through retail partners.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general, and when it comes to branding and naming?
My general advice for entrepreneurs is to never give up. There were a number of times where it felt like everything was going wrong with Everykey, and it would have been easy to throw in the towel. I’m so glad that we kept going, and persevered through the challenging times. My advice for branding is to figure out what you want your brand to stand for, then never compromise on it. We want the Everykey brand to be sleek, simple, and secure, so we make sure that absolutely everything we release follows these brand guidelines.
What’s on the horizon for Everykey? What gets you excited about the future?
Today, Everykey unlocks your phone, computer, and tablet, then logs you into your online accounts. I’m really excited about expanding the feature capabilities for Everykey to truly make it your Everykey (unlocking doors, cars, etc). Also, there’s a massive opportunity to help large companies manage authentication, so we are building new features into Everykey which will be useful in enterprise environments.