The first couple of years in QlikTech’s history, the company was called QuikTech and the product was called QuikView. It was a game with words: The product name insinuated that you could view things quickly and at the same time the letters Q-U-I-K were an abbreviation for what we believed in: Quality, Understanding, Information and Knowledge.
We believed that a business could improve its processes and product quality by empowering employees and encouraging them to engage in lifelong learning. And we meant all people – we saw everyone as a decision maker. To get information from data was an important part of creating the understanding, the knowledge and the quality. We were inspired by the management trends of the time, especially by employee empowerment as described in the book "Moments of Truth" (Swedish: "Riv pyramiderna") by Jan Carlzon, president and CEO of Scandinavian Airlines.
Thus, the abbreviation was an early attempt to make a values statement and it was there long before the genesis of the product. What the abbreviation stood for was really the ideological base when founding the company.
Another, less glamorous reason for the strange spelling was the old DOS file name restriction. File names could not have more than 8+3 characters. There was just no room for a “C”. Hence quikview.exe.
And why did we change from Quik to Qlik? Well, we tried to register “QuikView” as a trademark, but our application was rejected. There were already too many software products with the prefix Quick, Qwick, Qvick, or Quik. But we still wanted to protect the product name! However, at this time, we had started to realize that a defining characteristic of the product was that you clicked and viewed. The fact that it was quick was not the first thing that came to mind. So the step to rename the product to “Qlik” + “View” was not very big – in fact, it was even an improvement of our values statement: We just replaced the words “Understanding” and “Information” with “Learning” and “Interaction”.
Today our mission statement is “Simplifying Decisions for Everyone, Everywhere.” The words we use to describe our mission have changed slightly: From the general “Knowledge” and “Quality” to the more specific “Decisions” – which is the main step in transforming knowledge into quality. As I see it, the current mission statement is more to the point than our original values statement. Further, it includes the idea that all people are included, which is something we took for granted but failed to express in our initial values statement. In all aspects, the current mission statement is a very good description of what we stood for already 18 years ago and what we still stand for today.
We are still true to our initial values. We just express them differently.