From Adaptable Blotter to AdapTable (Or, you admit to the world you only got it half right...)

The original Adaptable Blotters

Adaptable Tools' CEO Danielle Nagler explains the reasons for a change of name.

When the time comes to re-brand… (or you admit to the world you only got it half right)

When our startup Adaptable Tools’ core product was just a (hopefully) good idea, standing in front of real clients seemed a long way off. So we went with our instincts and some pretty limited market research, found a name no one had yet used with an available URL, and got on with writing code to build a piece of world-class data management software.

Safe in the knowledge that banks and large quantities of data were likely to be in a relationship for some time to come, we focussed on that world. We knew traders could be substantial users of the toolkit we had planned, and together with a neat idea for a branded giveaway, the Adaptable Blotter was born. We ordered an extra large set of physical blotters with our logo plastered on the side, and set about taking the prototype out into the world.

On the upside, it was a unique name, firmly tied into Financial Services and potential users, and it gave some hint of the flexible power we hoped to unleash. On the downside, as has become increasingly clear in the wide-ranging conversations around potential uses, it isn’t a blotter, it isn’t a pure trading or capital markets tool, and to anyone outside that world the name is meaningless or baffling and takes at least ten minutes to explain and excuse away. Put bluntly, we built a product that was substantially greater than the trade-jargon name we decided to give it.

Roll forward to today: the Adaptable Blotter sits on thousands of desktops, driving business critical data systems around the world for some of global banking’s biggest names, as well as integrating with applications built by innovative startups and established software providers. Increasingly we spend time with potential clients apologising, explaining that despite the product name, the toolkit in fact delivers across all datatypes and challenges, for any and every data user. And we have also learned, through the approaches made to us, that the same data challenges we are solving in Financial Services exist across multiple other sectors and can be addressed using almost the same set of tools.

So we decided it was time to admit our mistake and move on. The Adaptable Blotter has won commendations and supporters. It will live on together with new enhancements inside AdapTable. The new name captures more effectively what we actually do – which goes far beyond the traditional market-marking of a Blotter. It reflects the extent to which we transform the data table or grid, turbo-charging it to boost speed, connectivity, accuracy, and its problem-solving capabilities.

AdapTable will still serve the needs of the Financial Services community, with an FS plugin containing features especially relevant. But over the next stages of our development it will also offer plugins for some of those other sectors which are crying out for the capabilities to manage large dynamic data sets at enterprise level that we are already addressing.

Meanwhile the original set of paper blotters are nearly at an end and we are scratching our heads for a table themed gift to replace them. Suggestions welcome!

Adaptable Tools is a startup focussed on transforming the user interface in data systems.

Adaptable Tools currently works with clients in Financial Services and other sectors from its London HQ.

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