Why call it “Polyfecta”?

Once I decided to share my writing, I had to figure out where to put it. Here are some of the options I considered:

  • Facebook. Although Facebook has a large built-in audience, I don’t really use it. Also, there aren’t a lot of options for customizing the look and feel of your posts (e.g. changing the font or adding colors/logos). As someone who gets particular about the formatting and presentation of things, it didn’t feel right to me.
  • Medium. Lots of talented folks put their work on Medium. I’ve even written there myself and enjoyed the process. But like Facebook, Medium doesn’t let you control the aesthetics of your work – no custom fonts or layouts allowed. Also, Medium itself is a “startup” that doesn’t have a stable business model. If I want my writing to be accessible in 10 or 20 years, do I trust Medium to still be alive and functional? I’m not so sure.
  • charleywalton.com. I’ve owned that domain for a while. For me, there was something a little too self-centered/narcissistic about making everyone see my name plastered on their screens. Hosting it myself, though, would allow me to customize the design as much as I wanted.
  • Some other site. I had noticed many other people using pseudonyms when writing online (e.g Rands, leancrew, Daring Fireball, etc) and I liked that these names tended to have amusing backstories. I’d long used chazeah as my internet handle, but it’s tough to pronounce and I didn’t own chazeah.com. But this felt like the right path: choosing a name and hosting the blog myself. I just had to find the right name.

So how does one go about choosing a name? It’s hard. Engineers famously hate naming things and I happen to know most PMs do too ?.

At first, I looked to my current adventure for inspiration, coming up with things like “Notes from a small island” (whole-heartedly copying Bill Bryson’s hilarious novel) or the simpler “Island notes”. I envisioned a palm tree logo and soothing shades of green. But I soon realized I’d like to continue writing on this yet-to-be-named blog long after I left Bali, so coupling the two didn’t make sense.

I started looking for inspiration in everything I read. Cool-sounding names were put through Namecheap and Namechk to see if they were already in use, and most were. The internet is a big place, it turns out.

Soon, though, inspiration struck. Recently, you see, I’d been learning a lot about nutrition and metabolism, and encountering lots of terms with numeric prefixes, e.g.

  • monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts)
  • disaccharides (like sucrose, which is glucose and fructose bound together)
  • triglycerides (the main component of body fat)
  • polyphenols (everyone’s favorite new micronutrient)

Then, in an article somewhere, I happened to read the word “trifecta”. My first thought, naturally: are “difecta” and “monofecta” words? Nope. Nor is “polyfecta”. But “polyfecta” had a ring to it. Also, I liked that a “trifecta” is generally a good thing and has positive connotations. If three is good, certainly “poly” is better, right?

(I briefly considered going with “omnifecta”, but thought it was going just a little too far…)

A couple of clicks later, polyfecta.com and @polyfecta were mine. And the rest is history.

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