An element of brashness and bravado is almost de rigueur in the naming of technology startups.
They have, quite literally, nothing to lose and everything to gain by drawing attention to their existence with a quirky name.
Quirky names first surfaced about 20 years ago in Silicon Valley, with the birth of search engines such as Yahoo! which is said to stand for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” (although that’s almost certainly a backronym) and Google, a misspelling of googol, a mathematical term for the digit 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.