Important Update: Dilbert is gone!
I had a strange email in my inbox when I woke up on May 3rd. The subject said “From Scott Adams”. I was half-asleep at that time. So I thought this must be an email from one of the readers or customers. I opened it and read half way thru the mail before realizing that it was from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert Cartoon Strip. I shook my head in disbelief and re-read the email a couple of times before I understood the message. Scott said,
I’ve been following your success for some time via my Google Alerts (it
sends me all Internet references to Dilbert). When you were small I was
ignoring your use of Dilbert and “pointy-haired” in your name, but now I
think we have to have this discussion.
Obviously there’s a trademark issue with any commercial use of the name
Dilbert, as it is an obvious trade on the goodwill I created in the
trademark. And even the pointy-haired part seems a bit unfair.
I have to have this sort of conversation to prevent “dilbert” from slipping
into the public domain. I’m sure you understand.
So with that in mind, can you suggest a solution? I like what you’re doing,
and wouldn’t want to impede your momentum, but a name change is due.
Of course Scott is being very fair and sweet. I never really thought my site would become even mildly popular. But as the site grew I had an inkling of suspicion that something like this would happen. But I brushed aside my feelings under the header of “that is just insane”.
At the moment I didnt know what to do. I couldn’t afford Dogbert, the evil consultant to advice me a name like “Duhflushtech inc.”
My immediate ideas for a new name for this blog were equally lame like,
- Six Pack Simpson
- Pointy Haired Chandoo [PHC]
- Excel @ Work [already tested and found lame]
Then it stuck me like a stroke of sumproduct. Why not just call the site by what it already is – Chandoo.org.
After a few minutes, it made a lot of sense,
- The site url is Chandoo.org
- People already see that in Google Search, Other blogs linking etc.
- My nick name is Chandoo, so loads of people already call me that.
- There would be very little confusion for a new visitor as they dont see the unrelated “pointy haired dilbert” on the site when they come looking for moving average calculations.
- It would help me build brand Chandoo instead of borrowing it from Dilbert.
Then I emailed back Scott this,
Thanks for your email. I am both thrilled and little worried to get this email.
But I totally understand your intentions and support you. My idea is not to step on Dilbert’s domain, but just a play with words. I have a solution for this:
* I will replace the “pointy haired dilbert” in my webpage titles, logo and future posts and just call it “chandoo.org”.
* I will have to keep the wording “PHD”, “pointy haired dilbert” in already written articles as it is too cumbersome (there are over 1000 posts). But this should not be a problem as the words are inside the posts and not part of title, page headers. (removal of Pointy haired dilbert from titles is automatic).
* I will make an announcement explaining why the change is happening and have a sidebar link “where did the dilbert go?” for a few weeks just so that people who visit once in a while don’t feel lost.
So, What are the changes and how they affect you?
- The blog, forums and formula pages have new logos. The look and feel of the site hasnt changed. Just the logos. Check them out to get familiarized with what is new.
- The wording “Pointy Haired Dilbert” has been removed from most places on the site. But there will be some references to it in past articles and content.
- Try calling me Chandoo when you comment or refer to me. You can of course call me PHD or pointy haired dilbert or even bumbling bumble bee as it is your choice. But I would prefer Chandoo.
What has not changed and will not change:
- The spirit of community. We will continue to be a community of excel users who have passion, eagerness and a sense of humor.
- The Feed URL for the site will remain http://feeds2.feedburner.com/PointyHairedDilbert.
- The facebook fan page url will remain http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pointy-Haired-Dilbert-Chandoo/31468481118 [I will try for a vanity url and see if the migration is possible]
- My hair (and the familiar logo of my hair standing up).
What do you think of the changes?
I have been attached to the PHD so much. It is hard to let that go. I am sure I will make mistakes and refer to my blog as PHD when writing emails or replying to comments.
But I also see a lot of positives in letting the PHD go. It will let me build brand Chandoo and keeps my site simple and clean.
PS: I named the site PHD because I was both an engineer and an MBA. I was transitioning from Engineer to manager when I started this blog.
PPS: You have a rocking weekend. I have more exciting and awesome excel stuff for next week, as usual.
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