Startup News

7 StartUp Stories–How They Got Their Cool Names

This article was updated on August 6th, 2020 at 05:58 am

Finding a brand name that’s both catchy and meaningful is quite a task. Here are some interesting stories from established startup founders about how they came up with cool names for their business ventures.


1. Mozy – “More Zetabytes for Your Mom”

Mozy is a cloud based online backup service that allows users to back up data. Mozy sure is a short and catchy name. Not many know that Mozy gets its name from the words “More Zetabytes for Your Mom” – well almost.. It was initially named “Breakaway Data Services for Your Mom,” or Bdsym. Well, that sounds technical enough, but Mozy sure is more zee!

2. Zynga – The CEO’s Pet.

Zynga was once Presidio Media – say what? Yes, Presidio Media – that sounds more like the SEO agency around the corner. But when CEO Mark Pincus had to come up with a cool name for his new social media gaming empire, his pets name came first to his mind.But his American Bulldog, was Zinga – and that domain wasn’t available. So Mark, replaced the “i” with a “y” making it even cooler. Thus named Zynga.

3. Spotify –  Spot Identify.

This might have been an easy guess. CEO and Founder Daniel Ek, explains the story on Quora. He recalls that in a hustle to find an appropriate name, he and co-founder Martin, went through even jargon finders but finally zeroed in on a name that Daniel mis-heard from Mark. Story here.

4. Yelp – Bought for $5000

Jeremy Stoppelman didn’t like Yelp at first. He thought it was the sound of a dog being kicked.
But Scott Bannister (who was also involved in the naming of PayPal) loved it. However, it was available for purchase from a squatter for 5k. Jared Kopf put down his credit card and actually bought the domain. The next day it was transferred to the company.

5. Go Walla – The Kangaroo Connection

Between GoWalla and Foursquare, Gowalla sure is a better name. CEO and Founder Josh Williams says that it was an amalgamation of Go and Wallaby. Wallaby is a Kangaroo like marsupial that hops from place to place. Now you know.

6. Instagram – “Right Here Right Now”

The name should bring about the right here, right now concept, should be unique and be easy to spell. Those were the conditions Kevin Systrom set for a name.Thus the name Instagram.

7. Tumblr – Tumbling And Beyond

Back when Tumblr was started, there was a burgeoning movement in the blogosphere towards a format called “tumblelogs”. CEO David Karp got the inspiration from this concept that he came up with Tumblr.

Its interesting how these startup companies come up with cool names right from the start. Certain apps that don’t have a cool name have either changed their names in the course of time or made their app so cool that the name, even though ugly have stuck to us.(Foursquare?)

But if we were to find a pattern, short, cute and resonating names are always a hit! Aren’t they?

Sources –  3, 4, 5, 6

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