Dot-com names get dottier

Start-up companies are trying to be clever with their choice of name, attempting to stand out from the myriad of new online firms. So, as the Los Angeles Times reports in a recent article, they are choosing names from Abazab to Xoopit.Apart from attempting to stand out, they also need domain names. Earlier examples of online companies using this method would have to include the companies they are often trying to compete against – Google, Yahoo and EBay.But the number of catchy, short, domain names are rapidly diminishing, which in another recent article TechNewsReview read are almost non-existent in the .com name space.”Entrepreneurs today pick names they think will help their companies stand out, as do parents of little Zander and Arlo, Eliza and Matilda,” says the LA Times.The article goes on to say:
“Naming a company is like naming a celebrity,” said serial entrepreneur Jared Kopf, who has helped christen companies including Adroll.com, his online advertising firm, and Slide, a Web photo service. “Made-up words don’t come with psychological baggage.”One approach is whimsy: picking a name that seems inspired by Dr. Seuss. If the late author were to tell a story about Internet start-ups, he could pit Qumana and Qoosa (blog editing and Web browsing) against Tagtooga and Tendango (both social networking). Peace would be brokered by Ooma (Internet phone calling). BooRah (restaurant reviews) would hiss, then cheer. Lala (music sharing) would sing.The article concludes discussing Xoopit with its founder. Tricky to pronounce and baffling to spell, Xoopit has yet to launch its service, but is worried how rivals may portray it.The article concludes:
Concerns were so great that a venture capitalist who considered investing in Marashi’s business said he wouldn’t do so unless the name was changed.Marashi suggested Phr332 (pronounced like Freak), but that was quickly shot down. So was FlumeSo Marashi conducted market research. He approached 10 strangers in various San Francisco neighborhoods and asked them to read the name “Xoopit” aloud. Most could. He reported his findings to the start-up’s eight employees and sought the advice of friends and family.Marketing experts assured him that X was the new Z.In July, Xoopit decided to stay Xoopit. The company plans to embrace it in a marketing slogan that, using Xoopit as a verb, suggests its users will become smarter: “Don’t be stupid. Xoopit.”“Once you pick a name, you have to stand by it,” Marashi said. “The baby is born and you have to sign the birth certificate.”http://www.latimes.com/technology/la-fi-names29aug29,1,3782702.story

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