Examining the names of Web 2.0 startups: part 6 (#20-25) ~ Bad Product Names

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Examining the names of Web 2.0 startups: part 6 (#20-25)

This is the last (finally!) installment of the Web 2.0 name analysis, with services #20 to 25 of Business 2.0's Top 25 Web Startups.

20. ViTrue

ViTrue is a place for uploading advertisement videos of your products. When I first saw the logo, I thought the name was iTrue; I interpreted the V as just a checkmark symbol that is surrounding the I. I'm not sure on the pronunciation either: is it VY-true or VEE-true? It is probably the latter, and is named that way because V-True was taken. V is for videos I guess, the name is short and makes a little sense.
Pros: short name
Cons: pronunciation isn't obvious, confusing logo

21. SuccessFactors

SuccessFactors is a suite of Web development tools. Nothing particularly exciting about the name, it is pretty generic and not very memorable. The logo is mystifying; I'm not sure what they were going for here.
Pros: common dictionary words
Cons: generic and lengthy name

22. JanRain

JanRain allows you to access multiple sites with just one login id. Sounds convenient right? Not if there are 50 of these copycat sites promising "one login" capability. The name hardly makes sense at all! What does rain have to do with login consolidation? And why Jan? This sounds like a cleaning or laundry product. Another case of 2 random dictionary word mashups.
Pros: none
Cons: name was randomly chosen, makes no sense

23. LogoWorks

Obviously, LogoWorks is a service that designs logos. Do you see the irony here? Hopefully they can do a better job than designing their own logo!
Pros: functional name
Cons: logo doesn't imply they are high quality

24. Rearden Commerce

Rearden Commerce deals with personal assistant applications such as event planning and hotel reservations. The name is not pleasing to say, it looks like it is a compound of 2 words which are not similar.
Pros: none
Cons: does not have a pleasing sound to it

25. SimulScribe

SimulScribe converts voice mail into scannable text. Not a bad name, does pretty much what you would think it does.
Pros: name makes sense
Cons: none


Anonymous said...

The name "Rearden" refers to Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrug. I doubt most people will get that, though. I do like their logo, its very simple and recognizable.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what it is named after? It is a bad name because:

1. It is long.
2. It is more often misspelled than spelled correctly.
3. It can be hard to pronounce correctly (what moron puts a diphthong in a brand name?)
4. It is boring (it sounds like some company from the 1950's that sells vacuum cleaners and knitting needles).

john said...

Yeah, I'll agree with the previous post; the name certainly sounds dated. It doesn't matter that it's named after a person, if you don't have a good sounding name, you have plenty of other options.

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