Be careful what you name your product group

Raymond Chen

They thought they were so clever when they named the Desktop Applications Division. “And the abbreviation is ‘DAD’, isn’t that cute? Complements the Microsoft Office Manager toolbar (MOM).”

And then the troubles started.

Shortly after the new product group was formed, everybody in the product group started getting email talking about strange non-business things. How’s the garden doing? Did you get my letter? When will the twins be coming home from college?

The reason is that the email address for sending mail to the entire division was—naturally—”DAD”. But it so happens that many people have a nickname for their father in their address book, named—of course—”dad”. People thought they were sending email to their dad, when in fact it was going to DAD.

The email address for sending mail to the entire division was quickly changed to something like “deskapps” or “dappdiv”.


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