What's With The Name?

Not sure why, but people often ask, "How did you get the name '5 happiness webmaster'?"

It's early 2000 (remember Y2K?). After five years at Sun Microsystems as an Engineering Services Manager, responsible for hardware and software releases, I've gone independent. I'm working behind the scenes for a large professional services organization as a contract Perl programmer and project 'fixer'. I've got three or four guys working for me, and we're doing everything from programming to dealing with clients unhappy with the attention they're not getting as the agency grows by leaps and bounds.

A couple of months into the gig, I'm driving down Clement St. in San Francisco when my mobile rings. It's the guy I'm working for, who is both the agency's CTO and a friend. Here's the conversation:

CTO/friend: Dude... billing's flipping out.

Me: Why?

CTO/friend: You submitted one invoice with hours and social security numbers for five guys... they want one invoice per social.

Me: So?

CTO/friend: So resubmit five separate invoices, or be a company.


Me: OK, I'm a company.

CTO/friend: Cool... what's the name?

[I look up and see '5 Happiness Chinese Restaurant']

Me: 5 happiness webmaster.

CTO/friend: Cool.

[He hangs up and goes off to tell billing]

So I get my first check, and it's made out to SHAPPINESS WEBMASTER... because they can't read his writing.

Anyway, a month or so later the CEO and another C-level exec are talking when one of my guys walks by. The C-level guy turns to the CEO and says, "Who was that?". The CEO replies, "Oh... he's with 5happy."

And that's the name… twenty-some years later. 8-)

What's With The Indian Couple?

We're not Indian. 5happy is not located in Bangalore, I was born in New York and raised in L.A. Alex lives in Wisconsin.

I used to play tennis with an Italian guy named Giovanni, who was an art director for a company that created what he called 'real estate porn': high-end catalogs of property listings targeted at the ultra-rich looking to buy mansions and castles throughout Europe. I ask him if he'll help me with the logo and he comes back with two designs: the one with the Indian couple, and one with a rooster. I go with the Indian couple. 8-)

You have to admit, there's something that works about an Indian couple matched with a chinese restaurant name, yes?

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