A Myna by any other name

What does a small bird, native to South-East Asia, have to do with A/B testing?

Myna birds. Left: Common Myna, Right: Bali Myna
Left: Common Myna, photo by Yotam Orchan, Assaf Shwartz (source)
Right: Bali Myna, photo by Jcwf at nl.wikipedia (source)
Images licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License

The answer? It’s all in the algorithms.

Some of the the sub-species of the myna (or mynah) are considered talking birds, i.e., birds that can mimic human speech.

As a myna (the bird) mimics human words, and is rewarded by positive reinforcement from its owner (or delicious, delicious seeds), it learns which are the most desirable words or phrases and knows to repeat them more in future.

In much the same way, as Myna (the revolutionary new A/B testing solution) repeats your variants, and is rewarded by successful conversions, it learns which is the most successful variant and knows to repeat that more in future.

As the page views roll in on a new test, we like to picture an excitable bird, squawking away and gobbling down treats, learning not to swear in front of polite company.

Even in our short lifetime, we’ve seen multiple spellings of the word: from minah to miyna, mynor to mhyna (what can I say, sometimes I just type too fast). While both myna and mynah are considered valid spellings for the bird, the A/B testing is spelled only Myna.

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