Naming a Business: Our Story, Part 6

by | Jul 22, 2015 | Business Leadership, Events, News

Why SoundRocket?

Anytime one approaches naming a business, a child, a service – there is an internal gut feeling that one must be comfortable with.  It is that internal check that can answer Yes when you ask Does this name adequately reflect what it is that I am naming?  Without it, the rest is increasingly difficult.

Our name up to this point, Survey Sciences Group, LLC, met this test because it allowed the name to speak for itself.  While it was difficult to remember for some, it was always very clear about what it is that we do.  So in our case, we had a name that met that gut check, giving us a solid benchmark to compare against when we found our new name.  

For many of us, the name SoundRocket resonated well inside.  

It wasn’t an immediate decision for all, as this was a very different name,  and naming a business is a task with great weight.  So for a couple weeks, we each grappled with our fears of what such a change would mean, and how it would be received.  

Beyond this internal gut check, there were many logical reasons why SoundRocket was a great fit.  Here are some:

  • It is memorable.
  • It forces the question “What do you do?” or the request “Tell me more.” It causes people to listen to our story.
  • Many of our internal processes used language that conveyed rocket imagery.  We routinely speak of study launches, and we use a pre-launch checklist prior to data collection.  
  • Many of the processes we used had origins in the lessons learned from the Challenger explosion and the Columbia accident.  The science employed in evaluating what happened on January 28, 1986, as well as the days, months, and years preceding it demonstrated many lessons for the management of science itself.  Books such as The Challenger Launch Decision and reports (in particular Chapter 8 from the Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report) played a role in the formation of the processes we use.
  • We routinely hear the statement:  This is not rocket science – we can handle it on our own.  Our response is direct – You are correct, it is not rocket science.  It involves the study of humans, which is much more complex than what is involved in the highly predictable science of rocketry.

What we do has not changed as we shift from Survey Sciences Group, LLC to SoundRocket.  The difference today is that our name now matches who we are

Currently, the FDA only regulates true direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, which have no health care provider involved either before or after testing. Consumer-initiated, physician-mediated genetic tests are considered lab developed tests (LDTs), which currently do not require FDA oversight. 


Our Study Design

Our study was designed to simulate the experience of an everyday person who is considering doing a health-related genetic test. For this reason, we only reviewed website contents presented to a consumer before ordering a test. By limiting our data collection to pre-test content, instead of digging around or contacting the companies to fill in missing data points, gaps in public-facing information that consumers use to make ‘informed’ decisions were revealed.  

Also, while a genetic counselor supervised the project, a research assistant (RA) conducted most of the website investigations. The RA was familiar enough with genetics and genetic testing to understand and identify the information presented on the websites, but has not had the clinical exposure that might create bias from knowing how specific tests work “behind-the-scenes”. 


To Sum Up

We set out to understand the landscape of health-related consumer genomics testing from the public perspective. By limiting our research (by design) to public-facing pre-test website content, we could not complete our data collection as set out in the protocol. However, this uncovered an important observation: consumer genomics websites are highly variable in content, readability and ease of use. 

This begs the question, if we can’t find basic test information on a consumer genomics website, how does a consumer have enough information to make an informed choice about testing? 

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, where we will dig into our study findings and reveal our most interesting observations.  



As experts in FDA user comprehension studies for consumer genomics companies seeking 510(k) clearance, we are interested in how everyday people access and understand health content that is meant for them. If you need help optimizing your consumer-directed health communications, we’ve got the in-house expertise and experience to meet your needs. Let’s chat

About the Author

Scott D. Crawford

Scott D. Crawford is the Founder and Chief Vision Officer at SoundRocket. He is also often found practicing being a husband, father, entrepreneur, forever-learner, survey methodologist, science writer & advocate, and podcast lover. While he doesn’t believe in reincarnation, he’s certain he was a Great Dane (of the canine type) in a previous life.