Why Sandtable?

In my mind naming a company is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur. Coming up with something that has meaning for you and your market is hard enough. Getting a domain name to go with it makes the whole process deeply frustrating.

I know exactly when and where I came up with the name Sandtable. I was sitting by my son’s bed waiting for him to go to sleep and was thinking about routes for possible names. I had alighted on the letters S and N – for social network which are a major focus of our work. Initially they took me to ‘snow’ but that did not have the right associations. The next step was to ‘sand’.

My son loved playing with sand and still does. He uses it to build worlds and explore them, to play out stories and adventures, to learn and experiment.

So sandpit or sandbox became obvious candidates. The problem was that sandbox and sandpit have become generic terms for places in which new software can be tested.

In any case my son did not have a sandpit and nor did I when I was a boy.

We had sand tables.

Moreover I knew that the term sand table referred to more than just a child’s play thing.

In military planning a sand table is a scale model of a tract of land, made of hardened sand. They have been used for centuries by generals to visualize battlefields and experiment with strategy and tactics.

After my son went to sleep I went downstairs and bought the domain name.

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