Does it come from The Matrix, you know, where Neo is told to “follow the white rabbit”? Or is it from the Jefferson Airplane song “White Rabbit”? Or maybe a reference to a magic trick?
I am approached with questions like this all the time, and it usually starts off with something like this…
Hey, I’ve been wondering something all meeting, and so I got to ask, where does the name White Rabbit come from?
And my response is always, “Thanks for asking, I named my company White Rabbit so you would ask me that very question.”
You see, when I set out to start White Rabbit I didn’t want to be seen as another know-it-all consultant. Our approach to serving clients is different. We see ourselves as facilitators and our job is to unlock the wisdom and capacity of your organization.
So, to break the mold, I wanted our company name to create three responses in you…
Surprise your 40 watt brain into waking up
Did you know your brain runs on about only 40 watts of power? That’s about as many watts as a light bulb uses (so I guess we are all just dim bulbs :).
40 watts is not a lot of energy, so your brain will do whatever it can to conserve energy. Like ignore predictable, boring, non-threatening sameness; treating it just like you would treat email spam.
Since I wanted to break the predictable patterns you see everyday, I couldn’t name our company something like “Wagner Consulting” (my last name), because your 40 watt brain would instantly hit the delete button when you heard the name.
So when you see or hear our name, I want it to surprise you, and wake up your brain so that it pays attention.
Provoke your curiosity to solve puzzles
Have you ever started a movie that wasn’t very good, but you find yourself needing to finish it because you must know how it ends?!?
The mind needs closure. That may be why you clicked on this very link, because you must know why our company name is White Rabbit.
And you probably have a guess to as to where our name came from. Most people I meet have come up with their explanation for our company name, and I have heard some elaborate ones!
So when you see or hear our name, I want it to provoke your curiosity, and get your mind trying to solve the puzzle.
Start a conversation
I despise the “elevator speech”. Now don’t get me wrong, it has a place, but to me it feels very one-sided. Where I am left to guess at what you value and find interesting.
I believe in the power of questions. And their ability to start conversations that can take you to unexpected places.
When you ask me, “where does the name White Rabbit come from?”, we are starting a conversation. A conversation that might lead us to an unexpected place.
So when you see or hear our name, I want it to start a conversation that we are both engaged in.
That’s great, but you haven’t answered my question!
You’re right. So where does the name White Rabbit come from?
Well, when I thought about my goals to surprise your brain, provoke your curiosity, and start a conversation, my mind went back to a book I had read as a child, Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carrol.
In the opening paragraphs it says…
…when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
So I named our company after the White Rabbit. The White Rabbit that surprised Alice, awoken her curiosity, and took her on an unexpected journey.
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