Several folks have asked me privately about Zepheira … more specifically what we do, how to pronounce it and where the name came. The following is a poor attempt to minimize future inquiries 😉

Ok, first, what is it… Zepheira is a professional services turned product company that spun out of MIT in 2007 to (per our home page) :

… to help organizations use the Web to connect, visualize, analyze and augment data assets across system boundaries. Our team employs expertise in Semantic Web standards, Linked Data principals, Web architecture and Social engineering to expose the valuable information hidden within your data.

This isn’t quite a full answer, but it is close. More important than the ‘what’ is the ‘why’. In short we believe that by empowering people through information and making to easier to build off of each others insights, we make the world a better place. I feel extraordinarily fortunate to work with some of the best and brightest people in the field who have come together to apply open source and web architecture solutions to help communities more effectively share knowledge to address and solve social issues.

Ok… how to pronounce it:

zepheira : ze-fear'-a

Not really all that difficult now was it. 😉

And finally, where did the name come from. Naming things in general is difficult. Naming a company is no exception.

After we decided we wanted to come together as a team we had to figure out what to call ourselves. In the process of this exploration, we found ourselves mind walking around a wide range of inter-related topics including philosophy, values, experiences, lessons learned and future goals. In the process of sharing our individual views on various subjects we collectively realized that while each of us are respected industry leaders in various areas, we also shared a deep passion for the arts. We found that everyones ‘hobby’ was incredibly artistic in nature – pottery, woodworking, sculpting, music, poetry, martial arts, weaving / fabric, photography, etc.

Woodworking and metalworking are my passions. That said, I only own one piece of “serious” art (something I paid money for). It’s a painting from an Armenian artist named Vakhtang. My wife and I stumbled upon this piece independently in Sausalito and it holds a special place in our hearts. I walk past it everyday and everyday I pause briefly to breath it in. It’s a bit of a daily ritual of mine; viewing this piece makes me pause, reflect and subsequently feel a bit better about life, the universe and everything.

His painting is called ‘Zepheira’.

It was one of those ‘ah ha!’ moments that we as a team had and it came together instantly: “Zepheira, ‘The Art of Data'”. It simply felt right.

One day I hope to meet Vakhtang and tell him thanks. His art has been an inspiration to me beyond any words I can express.