Naming a product can have unexpected results…

• How I became Paul Vo •

Early on I’d come up with a name for my invention: ‘Vo’. It’s short for ‘servo’, a technical term denoting the broad category of technology it belongs to. Servo systems are control systems – the power steering in your car is a great example of a servo system. And my invention enables what is basically a servo system for controlling vibrations.

As a root word, ‘Vo’ is found in words such as voice, vortex, evolution, voracious, vote – all kinds of positive evocative words like that. The ‘vo’ part can be traced back to Latin and generally means to “go forward”, or to “project outward” – that kind of positive meaning.  I thought it a perfect name for the first product. I saw boundless opportunities for creative advertising!

However, when the Moog Music company came out with a guitar, people were going to call it the “Moog Guitar” no matter what we tried to name it. At a meeting where we accepted this fact, I was expressing resignation at not being able to use ‘Vo’ when one of Moog’s engineers jokingly suggested if I liked it so much I should call myself “Vo”. I’d often thought of changing my name because – lets face it ‘Ierymenko’ is difficult to pronounce, spell and remember. So I decided on the spot to become ‘Paul Vo’!

As I was new to Asheville, I began using the name right away. In 2008, Moog introduced me as ‘Inventor Paul Vo’ in connection with the ‘Paul Vo Collector’s Edition Moog Guitar’. I’ve been doing business as Paul Vo ever since and I’m very comfortable with this pseudonym.  Vo: going forward!