This morning I sent out the following email to the employees of 2U. It stated that we would be changing the company name again, this time to “The Number Two The Letter U”. Hilarious response—a lot of people believed me!
~ ~ ~
Eight score and fifteen days ago…
Wait, sorry - wrong email.
2torians / 2U’s!
Some five and a half months ago, when we renamed this company, we were resolutely dedicated to the proposition that all number and letter combination company names were not created equal.
We sought to prove, both to ourselves and to the world, that by combining the best of 2tor tradition, numbers, letters, and culture with world class branding strategy and design, great company names can exist without borders - that a great company name can come to you
(you guys saw what we did there
, right?). In fewer than six months, we’ve done exactly that. In the process, we’ve ushered in the next generation of great company names that are also plays on words
- 2U (like to you
! or two yoots
! but also the Letter U can stand for Universities!) - and the myriad ways that they are changing the landscape of company names that include numbers and letters is more evident every time we take a minute from our crazy lives to look.
As we’ve changed names, our mission has never wavered. And it never will.
How important is that mission to me personally? It’s the reason that, with the possible exception of convincing an unspecified number of folks in Landover that the Miami Dolphins are the greatest football team of all time, I’ve never been prouder of anything in my life than the privilege of ushering in a great company name (and pun) like 2U.
The only issue is, despite which 2 we mean (two, to, too, tu (en français)) being everyone’s first question, we actually write the company name as the number two and the letter u. In fact, “to you” is the exact opposite of how we write the name. All the explaining of how to write the name is done by Andrew Hermalyn when he is on the phone with our partner institutions or Chance Patterson or Shirley Chow when they are on the line with media. What we do is partner numbers and letters together to deliver rigorous, selective, company names to the world. Or, put simply:
- We bring a great number and a great letter together and;
- We empower the next generation of great company names that are double entendres. Funny but true.
Because of this, we will announce today, April 1st that we are changing our name to The Number Two The Letter U.
It might sound odd at first, but I’m convinced that this will prove to be an important step in us becoming an iconic company. This change comes at a time of amazing growth for our company. As we announce our third company name, we need to make clear to the world both what our company name is, and, just as importantly, how we spell it. It also sets an incredibly new standard in company naming conventions.
The name The Number Two The Letter U is a perfect reflection of our mission. As a company, we stand behind and support everyone we speak to on the phone when we are explaining the company’s name, allowing them to write it down more correctly than ever before. But we don’t have to explain how it’s spelled.
We are The Number Two standing behind The Letter U to make world-class, online education possible.
Will this change anything about your day to day life? Other than perhaps having to spend less time explaining how the company name is spelled, no. But it’s a very real step for us, collectively, towards embracing our role as an iconic company (with one of the easiest names to spell out in education today). And that’s a step I’m excited to take with you.
Welcome to the next chapter - It’s good to have you on the The Number Two The Letter U rocket ship.
P.S: Fear not: the names 2torian and even 2Uian shall not perish from this earth. Just as each of our partners is steeped in tradition, we have traditions of our own. As a nod to the past, we will continue to call ourselves 2torian’s, occasionally get confused and call ourselves 2U’s, and I will continue to be damn proud to be a NumberTwoLetterUian.
P.P.P.S: Every day’s a holiday & every meal’s a feast. Especially on a holiday.