Many friends, colleagues, and clients have told us how much they love our company name: Yes&. About a year ago, Dave and I were sitting on a beach in Surfside, TX trying to catch some fish and dreaming of how we could do more social good. We decided starting a company would play to our strengths while allowing us to make a bigger impact. Coming up with a mission statement, a vision for the company, and setting goals was honestly pretty easy. The hard part was settling on a name that a) would describe what we were trying to do, and b) wasn’t already overrun by others using the same website domain.
Early on, the name Yes& began to stick. For me, “Yes, and” is the first rule of improvisation. It’s a way to accept what another person is saying and expand on that line of thinking. It’s a way of brainstorming and collaborating that allows for there to always be more. For Dave, “Yes. And…” is a book by author Richard Rohr that gives guidance to his daily spiritual and meditation practice. This book challenges the conventional ways of looking at things and instead focuses on transformation.
Over many months, we tried on a number of different names and asked everyone we knew for help. But in the end, Yes& stuck. We joke now about how, subconsciously, we always knew it would. There are people on all sides of the “yes” culture debate, and we’re not here to change anyone’s mind. We just know that we do not want to be a “no, but…” culture. For us, the open-ended idea of “yes, and…” is a driver to constantly learn and grow. It creates limitless possibilities for innovation, inclusion, and impact. And when it comes down to it, that’s who we are and want to be.