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What’s in a Name?

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Over the years, we’ve gone through several iterations of the company name. Like a brilliant artist naming his masterpiece, we’ve tinkered with a few names but just can’t seem to make up our minds. Picking the right name has been more challenging than creating our premium email service. But we won’t have to worry about it as Mailtrust is losing the name altogether and becoming a part of the Rackspace brand. We’ll still maintain our focus on email and support – while leveraging the great brand built by Rackspace. Before we do, let’s take a moment of silence and look back at all the identities we’ve gone through.

fieldParty.com – approx. 1999 – 2001

Two college students (Bill and Pat) dreaming big in a bar at the height of the tech bubble. What came out of those planning sessions was the events bulletin company that was fieldParty.com. They worked out of an apartment in Blacksburg, VA in their underwear. Both the name and the bubble were destined to die a miserable death.

Exedent – approx. 2001 – 2002

fieldParty.com wasn’t taking off as planned. But surprisingly, a little side service, “email hosting,” was. In an adept maneuver not unlike a ballet dancer on their tippy toes, they switched gears, dropped the fieldParty business, and adopted “email” as the core business strategy. They worked out of a basement in Northern Virginia in their underwear.

Excedent Technologies – approx. 2002 – 2005

Exedent sounded too much like “accident.” The letter “C” was added and we became Excedent Technologies, a very corporate sounding name. I joined around this time, and worked out of the same basement in my underwear.

Webmail.us – approx. 2005 – 2008

We couldn’t get Webmail.com, but got lucky with Webmail.us and launched the site in 2003. This was originally just the website and service name, i.e. “Webmail.us, a service of Excedent Technologies.” But in 2005 Pat decided once again to change the company name. We moved to the Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, VA around this time. In my mind, this was the start of a new life. The company grew up, and we actually had to dress to go to work.

Mailtrust – approx 2008 – 2009

Webmail.us became too confusing, and there were too many marketing issues with it. Around this time, Webmail.us was acquired by Rackspace and we changed our name to “Mailtrust” a few months after. You can read Pat’s explanation of the name change. We had by this time moved out of the CRC and invaded the spaces at the University Mall still in Blacksburg, VA. The company matured and graduated from the nurturing nest that was our startup cocoon.

Rackspace – from now until….

So here we are, ten years and half a dozen name changes later, and we’ve finally arrived at where we want to be. We’ll drop our independent name completely and become a part of the biggest brand in hosting—Rackspace. A lot has changed since those two college kids thought up a ridiculous name for a company. So rest in peace Mailtrust, formerly Webmail.us, formerly Excedent Technologies, formerly Exedent, formerly fieldParty.com. It will be sad to see you go.

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1 Comment

I think just as interesting as all the name changes is how nice all the logos look! Although the ‘FieldParty’ logo looks a bit too much like Seinfeld’s!

avatar Catherine Jacobs on September 18, 2009 | Reply

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