First-Name Basis

The marketers of pop icons understand this: When the world knows you by only your first name, you win. Pop stars resort to contrived names to achieve this goal; I’ve never met any other Madonnas or Beyonces (I know there’s an accent in there somewhere). But then there’s Steve. Where I work, you say ‘Steve’ and there’s only one person you could be talking about, and he doesn’t even work there anymore. We also have Jonny, Tim, and Peter.

Peter may only have first-nam mojo within the finance group, but where I sit, when I hear “Peter wants this by Friday” there’s no question of who Peter is and there’s no question of when the project will be finished.

Tim. Peter. Steve. Jonny. Simple, non-manufactured names that have reached their stature by earning the respect of tens of thousands of people. There’s not a Jerry here. Yet. First I have to get that thing done for Jodee by next Friday.


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