Startups

The name ‘CompassRed’ is all about losing — and regaining — control

Founder Patrick Callahan tells us the history of his data analytics company's name.

A compass is a tool to help you find your way. (Photo by Flickr user AJC1)

The stories of how companies get their names are often fascinating. That’s the case for the history of CompassRed‘s moniker. CompassRed is a data analytics company that aims to make its clients smarter and more efficient through data science.
It makes sense, then, that their name came from losing and regaining control.
We caught up with CompassRed founder Patrick Callahan and asked him to tell us the story of the company’s name.
Patrick and Jennifer Callahan, his wife, were on a sailboat. This was in San Francisco, and the wind speed on the water that day sustained 15 knots with stronger gusts. Jennifer was learning to sail and Patrick was her passenger.
As the wind blew and the water rolled, Jennifer was nearly overwhelmed. She couldn’t manage to look around and steer the boat at the same time without fear of keeling. That’s tipping over. Patrick said, “Find your compass red.”
Focus. Look at your tools. Find the center. Recover. Orient the boat.
It worked.
Later, Patrick was learning to fly a plane. He was practicing stalls with his instructor. That’s where pilots pitch the plane up until the engine stalls. It’s up to the pilot to recover the plane.
Patrick stalled, slowly pitched back down and couldn’t regain control. “Find your compass red,” the instructor said.
“Wait a minute,” Patrick thought. “Where have I heard that before?”
Patrick took that idea of finding your compass red and applied it to his company. CompassRed was founded in 2012.

Companies: CompassRed

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