The management team at Pajamas Media has taken a lot of heat over the past week and rightly so. There’s been chatter in the blogosphere and their naming-renaming saga even hit the so-called mainstream media yesterday. While most of the criticism missed the point, Jeff Jarvis made some astute observations. The central question for Pajamas Media isn’t the name, it’s the business. They missed the essential steps of defining the business and the business model, and articulating the positioning to support that before they hired a naming consultant.
As a “web 2.0” company it appears they fell prey to some classic “web 1.0” mistakes. They grew starry-eyed with investor’s money and (apparently) spent more time planning their launch party at the Rainbow Room than working on their business strategy. (And by the way, a launch party at the Rainbow Room with Judy Miller? Exactly how many bloggers hang around the Rainbow Room these days?)
My advice to Pajamas Media is to focus on what you do and do it well. If the collection of blogs has some equity under the name Pajamas Media then stick with that. If there are legitimate business reasons to make a change for heaven’s sake do your homework. It’s a stretch to believe that a “branding company” recommended a name that was already in use in the same sector. But that’s no excuse for management not doing its own reality check.
And if all else fails you can always refer to my handy guide for naming your next company.