When you become an entrepreneur, you’re taking a leap into the unknown.
Part of that leap is building a sense of self-confidence that will keep you going, even when others don’t believe in you.
In countless situations, that self-confidence leads to huge breakthroughs, big wins, and exciting growth (for you and your business).
Sometimes that same confidence can lead you astray, make you move too fast, and miss the signs and steps along the way.
Sometimes that confidence can lead you to make mistakes.
On July 1st, we announced that we were rebranding and renaming ConvertKit to Seva at our annual conference for creators, Craft + Commerce. Seva originates from ancient Sanskrit and the Indian subcontinent where it has deep meaning in many different cultures and religions.
Within a few days, we started to hear from many of you who had genuine concerns about the name and its deep connection to religion and culture for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and more.
You asked about our process for arriving at this name. You started conversations in The ConvertKit Family Facebook group and on Medium asking if we realized the cultural and religious implications of the word we had chosen.
We thought we understood, but it became very clear that we didn’t.
Our response was to listen.
We scheduled calls with customers and non-customers alike, especially those with a personal connection to the cultures or religions who have a deep and meaningful relationship to seva as a spiritual practice.
As we became increasingly aware of our ignorance on the deep meaning of this sacred word, we relied on the generosity of their time, knowledge, and perspective so that we could learn. And in the face of the pain and hurt we caused, they demonstrated to us the true meaning of seva.
Seva is not just a word that means “selfless service.” It’s not just a word that means “serving without the expectation of anything in return.” It is a holy and sacred practice that involves giving generously to others out of love, tied so deeply to spirituality that it cannot be separated from spirituality itself.
By moving forward as Seva, what message would we be sending to the world? Who would we be pushing away from our community, our platform, our team? Who would we continue to hurt in the years to come?
More importantly, what would we be contributing to (and taking away from) the wider culture we want to foster with our voice and platform?
We asked ourselves if we knew then what we know now, would we still have chosen Seva as our name? The answer is no.
If we really believe in our mission to help creators from all backgrounds and cultures earn a living, there is only one way to move forward–as ConvertKit.
We will not be moving forward with Seva as our name.
The word is too sacred and too important to cultures that are not our own.
Thank you for speaking up. Thank you to the creators who spent hours generously teaching what you know so that we could become more educated and understanding (even though it wasn’t your responsibility to help us learn).
We’re sorry for the pain we caused by attempting to change our name to a word we didn’t fully understand. We’re also sorry for the frustration and confusion we caused for ConvertKit users and affiliates in the process.
With kindness and humility, onwards we go.
– Nathan Barry
We’ve tried to anticipate what you’ll want to know in this FAQ section, but if there’s anything we haven’t covered please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Customers: Everything will continue to work as expected. Your logins stay the same, the tool will not change, the pricing will not change. The most you will notice is a change in our colors and logo throughout the app and on our marketing site.
Affiliates: If you’re an affiliate, you’ll want to update tutorials and screenshots some time soon to reflect all of the new features we’ve recently launched. We’ll also send you our new logo in a brand assets pack to use in all of your affiliate marketing.
Yes. The logo and colors are beautiful, fun, and fit with our culture as a community of creators. We hope you love them too, and we will complete our brand update soon.
No. We listened thoughtfully and with an open mind. With new information on the true religious significance of this word, we made a new decision. Knowing everything we know now about seva, we would not have chosen the name to begin with. That’s why we made this decision.
No. We are and always will be first and foremost focused on building a great product. We made a major product release at Craft + Commerce on July 1st and our engineers are continually working to build a better product.
Did it distract us from building resources and marketing around those new features? Yes. We devoted countless hours to the rebrand from our marketing, sales, admin, and customer success teams. Those hours are gone now, but the lessons we learned through them will stick with us.
The change to Seva didn’t change our mission, vision, values, strategy, or dedication to serving creators. Remaining ConvertKit won’t change that either. We’re more committed than ever to building a great product and providing world-class support.
It’s a beautiful word, right? But while we aren’t using seva as our company name, the meaning behind it still reflects our core belief in serving creators through our work. It will always be our ambition to practice selfless service in every aspect of the business. All the non-profit work we’ve been doing before announcing the new name will continue.
We would love for you to stay and join us in our mission to help creators around the world earn a living from their work.
We hear you. We caused a lot of confusion through this process. Seva as a word resonated with us deeply, but we now understand it’s not appropriate as a business name. We hope you’ll help us communicate that our tool remains the best email tool for creators and that we’re learning and growing as we go.
A name is not a mission and a mission is not a name. Previously we tied the two together in our minds, but we’ve learned through this process that we show our commitment to our mission and vision through our actions more than anything else.
One of our core values is that we care deeply about our creators and our impact on the world. With that in mind it became clear that going back to ConvertKit was the clearest way to live out our core values.
This was the biggest mistake we made in the process. We did our research on the web, but it’s one thing to read a meaning and another to hear directly from someone who finds it deeply meaningful. Looking back, we should have had conversations with creators and community members in and related to those religions that practice seva to really understand the true meaning of the word.