What's In a Name?

Originally Published on May 25, 2016

Anthony and I often get asked “what does ‘Protas’ mean?”.  A very natural question given that we’ve staked much of our personal time and effort into this thing we call ‘Protas Solutions Inc’.  The word Protas (pronounced Pro-Tuss) is Lithuanian for Intelligence or Mind.  Selecting this name allowed us to simultaneously honor our Lithuanian heritage while implementing a permanent reminder to be mindful, efficient and innovative in all things we do.  

Slapping this name on our business cards, websites and 1,000,000 legal forms was certainly not without risk.  If you’re not Lithuanian, chances are you have no idea what it means and will most likely mis-pronounce it.  Oddly (or not) the same mistake is made with this name as with our last name—Protas pronounced as ‘Proat-Ass’ as folks sometimes pronounce Monas as ‘Moan-Ass’—usually with the latter being done in jest.  

This fun discussion led us down an interesting, albeit brief analysis of other company names—big, small, local, international, etc.  It was astonishing how many of these names—absent their branding, advertising, etc.—mean very little in and of themselves to an outsider.  It occurred to us that names don’t often mean much until the company produces results, turns heads, and becomes known for something.  With this understanding, we stopped stressing about a company name.  We picked something that inspired us—and now it’s our charter to make it mean something to you.  

Our goal is to make Protas Solutions Inc. mean “Best Technology Consulting Business in the Beltway”.  We hope, that in a small way, it honors the memory of our hard-working Lithuanian ancestors.

William Monas