A lot of people have asked me recently about the meaning behind the name “Postulate One.” A friend recently joked that the name sounds like one we grabbed out of a hat of tech startup catchprases. And, well, it’s [kind of] true. I’ll admit right off the bat that the title is a bit of a cliché.
Early on, Morgan and I realized that we needed a catchy, buzz-worthy way to refer to our project beyond merely calling it “the trip” or something similarly vague. Plus, we wanted some substance that could drive a marketing theme and provide a unique logo for presentation purposes.
Indeed, part of the reason we made “Postulate One” look like a startup name is because, in a lot of ways, our venture models the process of building a company – that of taking an idea and making it tangible by creating a plan, finding investors, and refining a product with time and experience. Not to mention the said purpose of our trip is that of documenting entrepreneurs. “Postulate One” seemed the appropriate platform.
But the name also has personal relevance, and is one that Morgan I had used before planning this trip. Its origin goes back to Mr. Huson’s 9th grade geometry class.
For those of us who arrived at 8AM to sit through Mr. Huson’s sarcastic and monotone lectures, “Postulate One” became a term we would know all too well. You see, in any geometric proof, the Postulate One is the first thing you must address – it is the core assumption upon which all other steps are proven and built upon. Basically, Postulate One serves as the platform for the entire math problem. (And trust me, you did not want to forget a Postulate One on any of Mr. Huson’s geometry tests).
Having both weathered this colorful experience, Morgan and I later repurposed the term as an appeal to logic; Postulate One became a way of stating truth. Occasionally, I did this as a joke – employing my best impression of Huson’s expressionless voice and simplifying a situation by saying something like “Postulate One: I’m really hungry,” or “Postulate One: We’re totally screwed.” But the term could become quite serious as well.
Imagine if someone asked you for the Postulate One of your personality, or the Postulate One of your life. That would essentially be asking about the singular thing or motivation that drives everything you do and believe. That’s powerful stuff.
In choosing the name, Morgan and I are communicating our desire to uncover these types of powerful truths. We view young entrepreneurs as being the foundation of the emerging economies we seek to document. Our trip is a quest to reveal the truths, or Postulate Ones, which drive their individual struggles. Everybody has a story; we’re curious about what precipitated them, and what motivates them at their core.
Of course, we look to discover Postulate Ones about ourselves as well – like how we will grow through the challenges we face. Because we know that we will be confronted with many problems in the miles ahead of us. But in any problem, there’s always one thing you can backtrack to – one logical place that you can start solving from. Postulate One.