Why Startups Are Sporting Increasingly Quirky Names

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From The Wall Street Journal:

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

Quirky names for startups first surfaced about 20 years ago in Silicon Valley, with the birth of search engines such as Yahoo, —which stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle,” and Google, 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.

The only practical solution, some entrepreneurs say, is to invent words, like Mibblio, Kaggle, Shodogg and Zaarly, to avoid paying as much as $2 million for a concise, no-nonsense dot-com URL.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Wall Street Journal