LaunchPath's New Logo and That Moment When Things Just Click

LaunchPath's New Logo and That Moment When Things Just Click

Gray Somerville

Gray Somerville

LaunchPath is proudly sporting a new logo thanks to the private yet persistent efforts of our co-founding CTO, Mannie Schumpert.

After years of fruitless probing within the narrow constraints of brand mark design, the sharp edge of Mannie's imagination landed with an almost audible "thunk" on the perfect image to express our identity. Quite literally, he had hit the mark.

It's a portrait in miniature of a broader phenomenon we are experiencing throughout our company. After years of creative struggle, things are just starting to click. And though we can't tell the story of every small breakthrough that has now culminated in a 10X increase in demand for our product, here's how our new logo developed, blow-by-blow.

How Mannie developed our new logo

As is true with most innovations, it started with a problem - we just never were that happy with our original logo. LaunchPath's key value proposition is the way it guides innovators and entrepreneurs through the process of turning ideas into reality, so the "path" metaphor is key. We had hoped the bar chart of our former logo would convey this idea by suggesting stair steps, but as everyone who's been through it knows, the path to a successful innovation is ...

In other words, innovation is iterative, not linear, and we were looking for an image that would express that reality while still conveying the purpose-built nature of our system.

This problem particularly bothered Mannie, who has a keen eye for branding, having grown up watching his father create hundreds of logos as the art director at an advertising agency. He just couldn't stop searching for a better option. For years, without anyone else on the team knowing it, Mannie wrestled with this challenge, trying this and that but never quite finding the solution. Then, one day, inspired by the logos of Terraform and SendGrid, he started playing with some new ideas.

First, Mannie riffed directly off of the Terraform logo to kind of “prime the pump”. The images he was coming up with were interesting but weren’t really what he was looking for.

So he played with some simpler concepts, trying to represent “iteration” and “development”:

These weren’t quite right, either, but he saw promise in the “spiral boxes” and could sense that he was on the threshold of a breakthrough idea.

And then, the moment of inspiration – Mannie rotated one of the above images by 45° and instantly knew had found the essence of what he had sought.

In a matter of minutes, our new logo was complete.

Decoding LaunchPath's new logo

For those who like like to have a brand mark interpreted, here's what we are trying to communicate with each element of this image:

  • The overall shape represents the twisty, iterative nature of the innovation process.
  • The three squares represent the stages of the innovation development process
  • The rectangle represents the final stage of a successful innovation - the point at which it has launched and is beginning to scale.
  • The shades of blue represent the innovation moving from the shallow and hazy beginnings of the project to its deep and concrete conclusion.
  • The arrow represents the path to a successful launch - the firm handrail (and sometimes guardrail) that the LaunchPath platform provides to innovators to help them succeed.

That Moment When Things Just Click

As illustrated by Mannie's experience, innovative solutions rarely if ever "just click." Instead, they are almost always preceded by long, barren, frustrated, struggle, an experience that the economist and innovation theorist W. Brian Arthur describes like this:

The mind ... becomes fixed on the problem. It scans possibilities that might with further development satisfy the desiderata. This search is conceptual, wide, and often obsessive. Newton commented famously that he had come upon his theory of gravitational orbits “by thinking on it continuously.” This continuous thinking allows the subconscious to work, possibly to recall an effect or concept from past experience, and it provides a subconscious alertness so that when a candidate principle or a different way to define the problem suggests itself the whisper at the door is heard. (Arthur, W. Brian The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves, Free Press, New York, Kindle Edition, Location 1607.)

If your "moment when things just click" hasn't yet arrived, be patient and keep searching. Remember that this is just what it feels like to be an innovator. In time it will come to you, a whisper at the door.

Gray Somerville

Gray Somerville

Co-Founder/Chief Innovation Officer

Gray Somerville is a serial entrepreneur, innovation expert, and LaunchPath’s Co-Founder and CIO. Besides LaunchPath, Gray has helped launch and lead three other successful startups including Telogical Systems and Adacus.