What's In A Name? That Which We Call A Rose ... - InformationWeek

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4/3/2008
05:30 PM
John Foley
John Foley
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What's In A Name? That Which We Call A Rose ...

In uttering those words, Shakespeare's Juliet makes the point that a name is less important than the person or thing it represents. If so, why are so many startups changing their names? Something is rotten in the state of California.

In uttering those words, Shakespeare's Juliet makes the point that a name is less important than the person or thing it represents. If so, why are so many startups changing their names? Something is rotten in the state of California.I had to say something about this after learning that a startup called C2 Appliance has changed its name to Kickfire. Kickfire is about to launch a MySQL database appliance based on a specially tuned "SQL chip." It will debut the system at the upcoming MySQL Conference in Santa Clara.

In talking to startups recently, I'm having a hard time keeping up with all the name changes. In January, I wrote about FreshBrew as it prepared to introduce software that turns business presentations into rich Internet applications. FreshBrew was a relaunch of Interactive Alchemy, founded in 2003. In February, the company changed its name again, this time to Flypaper. The short-lived Freshbrew.com explains: "Same great product. Same great company. New Name."

Other examples include WaveMaker, which changed its name from ActiveGrid five months ago, and Helpstream, until recently Pathworks Software.

See the trend? Kickfire, Flypaper, WaveMaker, Helpstream -- company names formed of compound constructions that begin with an action word. Effective in its way, but familiar-sounding, too.

To be or not to be known by your original company name. That is the question.

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