The story behind our name

Naming a startup is a unique challenge. The name needs to simultaneously tell the world what you do and how you do it, while also addressing pragmatic concerns like being catchy, good for SEO, and reasonably available as a domain. Here at Cortex, our name is the perfect representation of our work, and it’s an important part of our story.

As engineers themselves, our founding team knew engineering teams needed help building software at scale. When working on a complex product, coordination is critical, but they’d seen how much difficulty teams could have managing it. Across a company, teams had to navigate haphazardly organized pockets of tribal knowledge. Engineers from different teams would talk to each other about their services and architecture, but have no central, up-to-date place to store everything.

What was really needed was one central home to organize and synthesize information — a way for teams to share what they know across the entire organization. Making knowledge more available would increase developer efficiency and reduce downtime. We knew that teams needed something like a central brain that was smart enough to keep track of what was going on with their services and help their teams build better. Leaning into that, we initially named the company Brain.

After a few months, we realized we hadn’t hit the bullseye with our name just yet. While it fit our mission and affirmed what we did, there were a couple of issues. First, it would be difficult to stand out from an SEO perspective. Second, Brain just didn’t sound that cool. 

Luckily, we found our answer by getting more specific. The cortex is the brain’s largest & most powerful region. It is responsible for coordinating inputs and planning; it makes sense of the world and factors its understanding into making good decisions. It enables the entire system to function as a smarter entity. Not only did the name Cortex solve our issues, it also described us even better. In October 2019, we happily made the switch to become Cortex. 

We know that engineering teams have big challenges, so as Cortex, we’re here to keep you running at your best. With our Service Catalog as a single pane of glass for your microservices and our templated Service Creation and Scorecards to standardize your services, Cortex is the central solution to ease the complexity of managing your architecture. If you’d like to learn more, schedule a demo with us here.