Frager Factor

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WSJ Covers Start Ups and Their Quirky Name Choices

Seems to be a set up piece that opens the runway for gTLD acceptance.

Says the piece, "Quirky names for startups first surfaced about 20 years ago in Silicon Valley, with the birth of search engines such as Yahoo, YHOO -1.65% —which stands for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," and Google, GOOG -0.06% a misspelling of googol,” the almost unfathomably high number represented by a 1 followed by 100 zeroes."

"The current crop of startups boasts even wackier spellings. The reason, they say, is that practically every new business—be it a popsicle maker or a furniture retailer—needs its own website. With about 252 million domain names currently registered across the Internet, the short, recognizable dot-com Web addresses, or URLs, have long been taken. By the early 2000s, the trend had spread to startups outside the Valley, including the Vancouver-based photo-sharing site Flickr and New York-based blogging platform Tumblr, to name just two." Examples they cite:

"The New York cousins who started a digital sing-along storybook business have settled on the name Mibblio."

"The Australian founder of a startup connecting big companies to big-data scientists has dubbed his service Kaggle."

"The former toy executive behind a two-year-old mobile screen-sharing platform is going with the name Shodogg."

'The Missourian who founded a website giving customers access to local merchants and service providers? He thinks it should be called Zaarly."

While people always cite Amazon, Google and Yahoo, those are far better invented words than the ones cited above. In the case of Flickr they eventually had to buy the correct spelling. While I can be for creative use of alternate extensions I am vehemently against brandables such as those cited the above.

1. They will fail to pass spell check which will startle customers and stop reporters in their tracks 

2. The don't pass the SIRI or radio test 

3. At 80 MPH on the freeway or in a subway in the blink of an eye, what do you remember 

4. Do they express what they do and can do for you and if not, do they have the massive budget needed to explain that

5. When you go with the brandable you lose all the contextual value inherent with web technology. Free press release distribution and inclusion of YOUR content with OTHER content by topic. Colds.com will come up in online searches and discussions about colds, Airbourne ad Zycam won't.

If these names weren't so liable then history wouldn't have proved name choices like these the three cited as the reason why great ideas become Dead on Arrival and forever live in the dotCOM graveyard.

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About The Author: Owen Frager is an Internet marketing expert ready to help take your company to the next level.

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