Why Did You Choose Such a Stupid App Name?

By Zhenyi Tan

Gibberish was originally named ‘Hottakes’.

When it got to a point where it wasn’t totally embarrassing, I showed it to a friend who is more business-savvy than I am.

He gave me lots of advice. He said that I should make the app free and add social features to leverage the network effect. He said that I should offer email newsletters and compete with Substack, since some of their users are looking for alternatives. He also said that I should offer AI-assisted writing…

… I couldn’t remember all the details because I quickly tuned out of that conversation. I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I just thanked him for his advice.

Later, after giving it some thought, I came up with this:

Gibberish doesn’t need to be social. We have enough social networks already. If I try to compete with Substack, then I won’t be building what I want anymore. It will become a chore, and I’ll be constantly chasing them for feature parity. Also, I’d rather read human-written Gibberish than some perfectly formatted AI garbage.

I told my friend about my thoughts, and he was speechless. I mean, I imagined telling him. By the time I had figured this out, too much time had passed, and it felt too awkward to bring it up again.

But while I was thinking about these things, I started to like the name ‘Gibberish’. It felt right for the app. So, I renamed the app and bought the domain name. And that’s how Gibberish became Gibberish.