Acouple of weeks ago the 99designs team invited me to write a post for the blog and share my branding story, and as a startup founder I will never ever pass up an opportunity to talk about my company. So here’s the story of Hecate, a suite of GitHub apps to help fax number database software engineering managers do their job better. There are two reasons you might find this story interesting. The first is that I was the VP of engineering for 99designs itself. It’s always interesting to hear how a former employee uses their old product. Knowing the ins and outs of 99designs helped me get a great result and hopefully you can pick up a pro-tip or two. The second is around how I’ve tried to use branding to drive company culture, particularly around diversity and inclusion, from day zero.
The Hecate website Via Hecate. Taking the first step — Like all good startups, Hecate began as a side project based on my own experiences running the dev team at 99designs. I began tinkering to find a simple way to let engineering managers know what their team is working on, a seemingly simple task that gets harder and harder as a team grows. Beyond understanding fax number database the problem of communication in product teams, years of working for 99designs and seeing all of our customer’s success gave me a strong appreciation for branding work and I couldn’t get myself motivated without one. Examining my branding influences — I was binge-watching the TV show American Gods around the time I got started on the initial idea.
The TV series is based on a book by Neil Gaiman, and it draws heavily on Norse mythology. I found that inspiring and wanted to follow suit. In Norse fax number database mythology Huginn and Muninn are a pair of ravens who fly all over the world, and bring information back to Odin. The imagery fit my business idea perfectly, but unfortunately someone else had the same inspiration. I needed to keep going though, so rather than abandon the idea, I decided that the working title would be GitRaven. I bodged up a placeholder logo using a logo maker and then switched my focus back to prototyping the first version of the product. hecate placeholder logo A placeholder logo for what later should become Hecate After my initial nudge towards all things Norse, some nagging thoughts pulled me back—more than just the embarrassingly low quality of the logo and genericness of the name.