birth of beyond zebra
how this zebra got its stripes: seeded long ago
I get asked so frequently about how Beyond Zebra got its name that I’m posting it online. Here’s the story.
In 1996, when I left the corporate world to open my own consulting company, I needed a business name, and I couldn’t come up with anything, (well anything good), and asked friends and relatives for help. While they thought their ideas and suggestions were terrific, I didn’t.
I was running out of time. I had to get brochures and advertising material printed up, but couldn’t proceed without knowing what I was going to call the business. Then I began to think in a meditative reverie. What was I really about? How would one characterize the nature of the work I do? I let myself drift, and saw a scene from when I was quite young.
I was around seven years old, and had found a book to read. The first few pages told of Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell (sic), a little boy who was learning how to spell. While most people stop the alphabet at Z, his friend said, “Oh no, not me!” He went on to say,
"In the places I go there are things that I see
that I could never spell if I stopped with the Z.
I’m telling you this ‘cause you’re one of my friends,
my alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!"
As the pages turned, a marvelous journey unfolded, one that took me into discoveries of new letters beyond Z. Enticing creatures and the radical ideas they stood for popped out of the printed words. I found the Yuzz and the Thnad, a Quan and a Floob, all important to understanding the value of breaking barriers to excel.
I never forgot that book because my life was all about going beyond the known, to show what can be. So I named my business after this magic story.
Oh, the book? Why, it’s On Beyond Zebra by Theodor Geisel. You may know him as Dr Seuss.
-Marcia Schafer, Founder of Beyond Zebra