Disclaimer: Tungle isn't really new, just new to me. The company, which makes technology that simplifies the scheduling of meetings, was founded in Montreal in 2006. But I first heard about Tungle only last week, when its owners offered to underwrite a Social Media Breakfast I had signed up for.
I was grateful for Tungle's sponsorship and impressed by the brief presentation of company co-founder and CEO Marc Gingras. I'm glad to see the company is receiving glowing testimonials. (I haven't used the service myself.) But "Tungle" strikes me as a naming misfire.
Sure, it's short and pronounceable, if not euphonious. It's coined, but it resembles real English words.
That's the good news. And the bad?
I couldn't find a naming story on the Tungle website, so I approached Mr. Gingras after the event and asked him about it. There are two name stories, he told me. Officially, he said, "Tungle" was created from "taming the schedule jungle." And the second story? He smiled. "It's a secret that only our employees know." Oh, c'mon, I protested. Nope, he said cheerfully.
OK, I get "jungle," if only from the rhyme. "Taming"? No way. And the sekrit-employee-password thing? Silly.
Here's my main issue: "Tungle" sounds like the opposite of what it is. It suggests tangle and tussle and dung and bungle and tongue-tied. (It could be an interesting name for a tongue-twister game, or for a line of inner-mouth piercing accessories.) Its most positive sound-association is tingle, but I don't see how that's relevant. Besides, the /u/ vowel deadens the frisson of tingle and brings it thuddingly down to earth.
I'm guessing that "Tungle" was developed internally; it has that do-it-yourself awkwardness that's sometimes mistaken for charm. I'd go further and speculate that the coiners of "Tungle" thought they were riffing cleverly on "Google." Maybe that's the inner-sanctum story: "Tungle: It's a ton more useful than Google!"
Nice try, no cigar.
Here's a secondary issue. You may have noticed that in the logo, the wordmark is Tungle.me. (The .me extension is the country domain code for Montenegro.*) The back of Mr. Gingras's T-shirt bore the legend "Call Me / E-mail Me / Tungle Me." So there's something verbish going on. (Something suggestive of a kinky dating site.) But on the website and in conversation, the name is "Tungle," not "Tungle Me," and the brand is used, appropriately, as an adjective ("Tungle technology"). The company also owns the tungle.com domain. So which way do they want it?
I found an answer, more or less, not on the Tungle website but on TechCrunch, whose reporter distinguished Tungle the company from Tungle.me, "a 'click to meet' application that is integrated with Tungle Accelerate" and "makes inbound scheduling more social." Got that? I'm not sure I do.
And speaking of the logo, I asked Mr. Gingras to explain the image, which was likewise a mystery to me. "It's a T," he said, "and it's a clock." Oh. "But..." I started to say, "...it looks like a hammer?" he finished my interjection. "Yes, it's that, too."
Smashing the system? Hitting the nail on the head? Hammering out the details?
Back to the drawing board!
* Unlike some of my colleagues, I have no problem with North Americans'
adoption of other countries' domains; the resulting compounds can be clever,
and small countries like Montenegro surely benefit from the revenue. I think of it as the 21st-century equivalent of the commemorative-postage-stamp trade.