In the world of startups, the journey of naming a company can be as intriguing as the journey of building the product itself. This is certainly true for our startup, Civitai, which today boasts a thriving community of two million registered users!
Our humble beginnings were under a far more straightforward banner -
model-share. It was a name that, while functional, didn't quite encapsulate the spirit of the community-driven platform we were nurturing. So, a week before our official launch, we decided to rethink our brand identity.
I've always been fascinated by Latin names for products, drawn by their timeless elegance and profound meanings. As we mulled over various options, we stumbled upon the Latin word 'Civitas', meaning 'community.' Eager to add our unique spin, we morphed it into 'Civitai'.
With just days to go before the launch, I put together a logo, differentiating the 'AI' part of 'Civitai' with a distinct color to subtly highlight the AI-driven nature of our product. However, what followed was an unexpected twist in our naming saga.
Upon launch, the different coloring led to some confusion, with some reading our name as 'Civit AI'. It even elicited a comical reaction from a user who remarked that 'Civet' (pronounced similar to 'Civit') was a type of animal known for excreting valuable coffee beans! It made us laugh, and also gave us an oddly apt metaphor – browsing our platform might feel like sifting through mounds to find valuable nuggets, not unlike hunting for civet coffee beans!
Since then, we've been asked countless times about the correct pronunciation – is it Civit or Civitai? Well, we like to think of 'Civit' as the cool nickname, the 'Joe' to our formal 'Joseph'. It's familiar, it's friendly, and it's effortlessly cool.
And that, dear users, is the story behind our name. So the next time someone asks you about Civitai, you’ll know what to say. Here's to the power of community, to the spirit of innovation, and to finding diamonds in the rough. Long live Civitai!