What's In A Name?

What's in a name? Names invite immediate, involuntary judgement. Companies spend millions of dollars on names, new parents choose from dozens of books full of names for their babies, and a younger version of me spent countless hours fretting over my mannish high school nickname (Rusty). Naming is a chance at making an impression in very little space. In a culture where our attention is flitting from smartphone to friend talking to construction noise to billboard to whether we left the burner on, the Name - the word, the smallest bit of information about something - becomes very important. The DataDog team has been thinking a lot about names lately as we explore how to present ourselves and our product to the world. Explore with me the stories behind the names we have chosen.

Company Name:  DataDog Health


Ravi and I both studied Biomedical Engineering in undergrad, resulting in a refined obsession with data, especially as it pertains to clinical applications. We take a data-driven approach to building mental health tools: we draw from existing research and use our own clinical studies to produce data that tells us what works and what doesn't.

Our favorite data is autonomicsphysical measurements of the "fight-or-flight" or "rest-and-relax" response in the body. In the app, we use autonomic data to measure stress so that we can help you objectively learn more about your mind.


Early on in our company history, we listened to a radiolab podcast that was a big inspiration to us. Jim tells himself out loud to "calm down" when becomes angry as a strategy for managing that anger. When Jim buys parrot Sadie, Sadie learns to echo his "calm down", augmenting the therapeutic effects of the practice.  After Sadie gets to know Jim even better, she begins telling Jim to calm down before Jim even recognizes that he is becoming angry. Sadie helps Jim pause and control his anger before he spirals out of control.

The power of animals to sense human emotion and assuage negative emotions has enabled dogs to become valued service animals- perhaps parrots could fill that role too! We want to build a software/hardware therapy suite that feels like it knows you and wants to help, just like your favorite companion animal.

App Name:  Mindset

We spent months laboring over the name for this app. We scraped names from over-caffeinated brainstorm sessions and fierce but friendly badgering of our friends and family. Check out some of the alternatives we explored below:

Ultimately our wonderful local design team proposed a name for us that captures everything we want to convey in the app.  Presenting: Mindset!

Mindset speaks to the idea of understanding the mind and how one views the world around them. The app is about aspiring to improve your mental health and taking action to pursue stress-fighting strategies- essentially, a makeover for your mindset.