Why name a product Flare?!

Originally posted on Mike’s MadCap blog on February 7, 2008; By Mike Hamilton

Special Note: Mike’s MadCap blog has being moved off of the WordPress servers and onto the MadCap Software servers.

Mike Hamilton

Mike Hamilton

I thought I would start out with something light but interesting. A bit of insight into the beginnings of MadCap Software.

A few people have asked about the name of our flagship product, MadCap Flare, and how it came to be named that. Well many people know about our background and our long involvement with the RoboHelp product line, and as the product manager for RoboHelp I found that a product with the name “Help” in it became extremely limiting. The plans we had for Flare were so much stronger than anything we ever did in the RoboHelp days that we definately didn’t want to limit ourselves in the same way by including the word help in the product title. But, then, what to name the new product?

Lots of ideas were bandied about, lots of brainstorming, and then it came to us. What is the international signal for, “I need help”? Why, you shoot off a Flare so that people can find you. This reference to help, or assistance, without explicitly using the word seemed too great to not use. So the product became Flare, or MadCap Flare. Unfortunately, I guess we had been watching too many episodes of Survivor or something, because nobody ever seems to get the back story without an explanation.

Now you know the story of how MadCap Flare got its name!

One thought on “Why name a product Flare?!

  1. I’ve never made that connection! “Flare” makes sense for those seeking help, but not so much for those of use writing help. (So perhaps the analogy would be “Coast Guard” instead of “Flare”?) It’s a “best practices” to not give your product a descriptive name (like “Help Tool”), though, because it’s easier to get it registered that way.

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