flare30_box.jpgI thought I would start out with something light but interesting. A bit of insight into the beginnings of MadCap Software.

A few people have asked about the name of our flagship product, MadCap Flare, and how it came to be named that. Well many people know about our background and our long involvement with the RoboHelp product line, and as the product manager for RoboHelp I found that a product with the name “Help” in it became extremely limiting. The plans we had for Flare were so much stronger than anything we ever did in the RoboHelp days that we definately didn’t want to limit ourselves in the same way by including the word help in the product title. But, then, what to name the new product?

Lots of ideas were bandied about, lots of brainstorming, and then it came to us. What is the international signal for, “I need help”? Why, you shoot off a Flare so that people can find you. This reference to help, or assistance, without explicitly using the word seemed too great to not use. So the product became Flare, or MadCap Flare. Unfortunately, I guess we had been watching too many episodes of Survivor or something, because nobody ever seems to get the back story without an explanation.

Now you know the story of how MadCap Flare got its name!

About The Author

About Mike Hamilton

Mr. Hamilton has over fifteen years of experience in training, technical communication, multimedia development, and software development. Prior to joining MadCap Software, he served as the Product Manager for Macromedia's award-winning RoboHelp product line. Mr. Hamilton is often a featured speaker at industry events, including TEKOM and STC.

Last Modified: March 22, 2011

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  • David aka RamonS February 25, 2008 at 7:48 AM

    Thanks for the explanation. But how then does the name “Blaze” come about. I once mentioned that to one of my supervisors at a previous job and he asked me if the MadCap guys are a bunch of pyromaniacs and if the next product is called “Explosion” or “Fire”. I find Flare and Blaze creative names and they are different, exactly as stated not like all the “WhateverHelp” products.
    So what then happened with “Capture”? And what is up with “Echo”? Echo doesn’t even offer an echo effect. See, a whole bunch of topics for new blog posts.

  • Mike February 26, 2008 at 12:28 PM

    Once Flare had been named, the goal was then to name future products something that was short, easy to remember, and whenever possible be somewhat descriptive.

    Sometimes we only get 2 out of 3. :0)

  • Pamela Coca April 12, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    RE: Naming conventions? You guys can call your software Bump or Swampbait or All-Hail-the-Robot for all I care, as long as you keep makin’ what you’re makin’. Flare and the support team behind it have saved my sanity on more than one occasion. Well…what was left of it anyway. 🙂

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