What’s in a name? When you run a startup, a fair amount. If I had a pound for every time I’ve said the words “Snap Fashion” over the past 5 years I’d have matched our Series A round and more. The name of your startup becomes synonymous with the product, the people, the culture and (weirdly) the founder. I am “Jenny Snap Fashion” to most people.
Which is why to many people it seems strange that, after 1,915 days, we’ve decided to change our name to Snap Tech. The reason?
“Hi, I’m Jenny, the founder of Snap Fashion… we’re actually a tech company.”
It’s incredibly simple. Snap Tech provides world leading visual search technology to publications and retailers. We started out with my thesis in Content Based Image Retrieval Systems, and the majority of our team is tech, not fashion. We are a technology company through and through, and hardcore computer vision is in our DNA. But that isn’t everyone’s expectation of Snap. To some people we’re a fashion platform, an aggregate retailer and, to be honest, not that different from the rest of the fashion pack.
As soon as you have a company name that doesn’t reflect your company DNA, vision and culture, you actually have a big problem.
- Hiring becomes more difficult. You don’t have top tech talent seeking out positions in fashion companies.
- Raising investment becomes tricky because you’re instantly compared to fashion brands and aggregators rather than computer vision and deep learning technologies.
- Communicating your vision and mission can become instantly blurry, as the question is always raised of “oh… that doesn’t sound very fashion to me.”
- And finally you have the shock of what our culture really is; a floor full of super smart computer scientists playing with the latest gadgets, talking software stacks, scalability of server architectures, and cutting edge deep learning techniques, with a tech founder behind the scenes. People expect a fashion-founder and an outsourced technology team, which although it isn’t a bad way of building a business at all, isn’t “very Snap”.
So now I’m proud to say we’re unashamedly Snap Tech. We’re an outstanding visual search and deep learning company, doing some amazing things and I’m lucky to be surrounded by some of the brightest people I know. Our first product is Snap Fashion and that’s still our main focus… but in the future, who knows where we’ll go.
Jenny Griffiths, CEO and Founder of Snap Tech