Many people ask us about our name. They think it sounds strange and they don’t know what it means. Well, that’s because our name is not English. Our name is Hawaiian words. We love the Hawaiian culture and we love the Hawaiian language.
The Hawaiian word “koho” is translated as “the tip of a paddle”. In case you haven’t noticed, our logo is a Hawaiian paddle. The tip of the paddle is the part that moves the boat through the water. Koho also means “To choose”. The word implies that a positive expectation will bring good results from the choice.
Now, Hawaiian words are multi-layered. They mean what they mean and they also mean other things, too. They also carry implications based on the parts of the word. For example:
- The “ko” root holds the idea of success. The “oho” root means to cry out – bring attention to. The “hoa” root (letters are often contracted to form other words) carries the concept of magical tying or binding.
- Therefore, a choice would be a magical act that would bind the outcome to the choice.
But words don’t stand alone in Hawaiian. It is a nimble, complex, delicious language. In our case, our name suggests that a choice is made for an expected result and the Hawaiian word for an expected result is “pono,” which also means “goodness.” When the two words reside together, it holds the idea that the chances for a successful result are greatly increased when you choose with goodness in your heart.
Now, we of all people understand that things change. That is at the heart of innovation. So we chose a name that implies that your first choices may have to change due to circumstances. For example, if you plant a vegetable in a sunny spot but notice it wilts much of the time, then you likely choose to move it to a more shady location. You may need to change your decision over and over again. This circles us right back around to the idea of using the paddle tip to move us – constantly adapting, choosing well at each decision point.
So there it is – our name in all of its glory.
 Although we cherish the Hawaiian language, we are not experts in the Hawaiian language. The explanation on this page is based on research and follow-up conversations with native speakers. Having said that, if we have really messed up the definition, our apologies to Hawaiian speakers every where. Also, please let us know.