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May 19, 2013 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Web2.Hell collected the names and taglines of real web2.0 start-ups that somehow were actually funded. "Remember Nothing! Zukmo Everything!" "Unlike on other sites, your posts must be one word long!" (The phenomena of baffling name choice lives on in current day successes like Snotr, LiveMocha, Magoosh, Squidoo etc., etc., etc.)
posted by blankdawn (51 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
"What exactly is Smoola? Smoola is the currency of Smish!"
posted by blankdawn at 2:56 PM on May 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


NaturallyCurly Network, “the leading social network for people with curly, kinky and wavy hair,” managed to secure $1.5 million in venture funding last year.

You've got to admire the hustle.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:58 PM on May 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Looking for digitalsmack. Willing to use my flapon to give vibefeelrs to willing sqoots. Interested parites may also pay in Smoola.
posted by codacorolla at 3:07 PM on May 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


The DoDyDo one makes my head hurt. I'm still not really sure what all those words mean, but I come away with the vague impression that it might just be tag-based blogging?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:07 PM on May 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Blaving is a new Social Network which allows you to record instant voice messages and to share them with whoever you wish to do it.

Named by the Animaniacs' impression of Jerry Lewis.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:12 PM on May 19, 2013 [15 favorites]


I came in here to say that Snotr is Old Norse for "wise". I'm sure they know this already, but I hope that's not where they got it from. The 16-30 Old Norse crowd is really thin these days.
posted by Jehan at 3:16 PM on May 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


All staffed by a bunch of twats just out of college expecting to do 2 hours a day on the Macbook in whatever scripting language is currently trendy so they can be the next Zuckerberg. Funded by people just as stupid.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:18 PM on May 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


I think I've actually heard of Plurk.
BrandAdda is really fun to say, in a "hey-batta-hey-batta" kind of way.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:18 PM on May 19, 2013


The reason why is that almost all sensible names are already registered by domain squatters, and they are busily engaged in registering the pronouncable names as well.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:19 PM on May 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


We're innovating. We've decided to descend from the cloud and gather on one continent.
posted by infini at 3:19 PM on May 19, 2013


I'm really sad this Tumblr isn't being updated anymore. Because "Tumblr."
posted by nev at 3:23 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm sure they know this already, but I hope that's not where they got it from.

I am reminded of the staffing agency that called itself "Esne," which is a crossword-puzzle type word meaning serf. I told them that, and they said they knew it, like it was no big deal. They soon changed it to something nondescript, though.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:23 PM on May 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


It’s not about us…it’s about you. So let us share what we have created with you in mind. In a way, it is difficult to describe what SheZoom is…not because there aren’t words. On the contrary, there are too many words. So many sites repeat phrases that are certainly well intended, but also cliché. It seems that everybody wants to empower women and enrich their lives and create a safe environment and focus on real women. But how many products actually achieve that?

Shut up and take my money!
posted by bleep at 3:26 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


As ridiculous as these names are, it should be remembered that at least during the first dot com boom/bust, many names were chosen because pretty much every proper noun on the TLDs were being cybersquatted.
posted by gwint at 3:30 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ha! "Magoosh" was the nonsense word my mom made up to describe that squeaky noise that dogs make when they yawn.
posted by avocet at 3:31 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


All staffed by a bunch of twats just out of college expecting to do 2 hours a day on the Macbook in whatever scripting language is currently trendy so they can be the next Zuckerberg. Funded by people just as stupid.

From the Hacker News thread on the Tumblr acquisition:
How exactly are the Yahoo! workers exploited?

I think that's between the employee and their own view of the world. If you worked at Yahoo for six years doing something, anything, and then Yahoo buys a six year old company run by a 26 year old for a billion dollars — what were you doing the past six years? Couldn't it have been you? Why not?

Every computer person employed by a company isn't generating a million dollars a year in value, but most could if they were pointed in the right direction. Even those who are generating 10x to 1000x the value of their salary aren't compensated proportionally (hence, why startups exist).
posted by junco at 3:35 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Blaving is a new Social Network which allows you to record instant voice messages and to share them with whoever you wish to do it.

Named by the Animaniacs' impression of Jerry Lewis.
Ahem: To blave.
posted by Blue_Villain at 3:52 PM on May 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


Baffling name choices like "google"? If any of these companies had a product/service worth using we wouldn't be laughing at their names.

Except Snotr.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:53 PM on May 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


As odious as the company is, I grudgingly have to admit that "Klout" is a good name. As in "We'll klout you over the head with our bro-focussed marketing!"
posted by Nelson at 3:55 PM on May 19, 2013


The 16-30 Old Norse crowd is really thin these days.

It's the fish diet.
posted by dhartung at 4:07 PM on May 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


Drink Logger makes it easy to track your drinking and monitor your estimated Blood Alcohol Content

Protip: if you cannot immediately remember how many drinks you have had, the answer is "too many."
posted by Countess Elena at 4:10 PM on May 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Someone could make a mint if they created a Web 2.0 name generator. Especially if it cross-referenced with available domain names.
posted by Joh at 4:10 PM on May 19, 2013


I used to have a really great coffee mug from some startup. It was in the yahoo/wazoo/gizmo family of names, but I can't remember exactly what it was. They gave them away free at some event or other, using their venture capital on expensive branded products, I guess -- it was a very nice coffee cup. It got broken a few years ago. The coffee mug lasted longer than the company did, for certain.
posted by gingerbeer at 4:16 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Protip: if you cannot immediately remember how many drinks you have had, the answer is 'too many.'"

Back in my youthful drinking-to-excess days, that was genuinely a key metric for me.

Not that I used it to alter my behavior, it was just for reference. Like the evening's first unlocked achivement:

Almost Fucked-Up: How Many Beers?

Then, later, there was the next level achievement:

Drinking Straight from the Keg: Bad Shit Coming Soon
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:29 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


> NaturallyCurly Network, “the leading social network for people with curly, kinky and wavy hair,” managed to secure $1.5 million in venture funding last year.

You've got to admire the hustle.


See, that one actually seems pretty plausible to me. Natural hair is A Movement that people Identify With (and want to talk about). There's also a lot of DIY spirit, people making their own natural shea-butter-avocado conditioning glop or whatever, so there's a lot to discuss there too. And then there's a bunch of frustrated people saying "fuck it, I'm tired of making my own shea-butter-avocado conditioning glop" and buying really expensive commercial hair products — meaning there's money to be made in advertising.

Basically it's the same business model as any site catering to foodies, or to the cloth-diaper parenting crowd. Why not?
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 4:31 PM on May 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


That DoDyDo start-up stole a lot of traffic from my Laverne & Shirley fans hookup site, VoDyOdO.
posted by orme at 4:38 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


> The DoDyDo one makes my head hurt.

After my initial "what the fuck", I decided to track it down.

Here's their press release as it appeared in some SEO-driven blogger's post from February last year.

And... that's pretty much it. dodydo.com is offline. They never got around to owning their name on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube... You can see the same PR posted on other "what the fuck did you call yourself" type post-dotcom dotcom business social media presentation newsbyte sharing blargh websites, but it doesn't help. DoDyDo might never have actually existed, aside from its press release and a logo whipped up in five minutes out of some random font that the wannabe billionaire pirated.
posted by ardgedee at 4:46 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to sat I once interviewed at an agency(??) that was named "Interactive" spelled backwards. It was really degrading just having to tell the guy at the gate who I was there to see.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:49 PM on May 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


Exacerbating the self-aggrandizing nature of a lot of that dotcom hype, underlying a disturbingly large amount of them is nearly fuckall in anything resembling ambition -- being based on resources available through public APIs from Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (or, worse, lower-tier social media services that are struggling to be known at all), means that they're leeches by design: A change in policy or discontinuation of service can kill you instantly. Without figuring out how to build your own userbase and resources, you don't have a reason to survive at all; chances are pretty good that some random developer with an idle hour to kill might already have replicated your business model with a Greasemonkey script, and hadn't realized that anybody else might be interested in using it.
posted by ardgedee at 4:58 PM on May 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Someone could make a mint if they created a Web 2.0 name generator. Especially if it cross-referenced with available domain names.

Domai.nr. Also, less seriously, from my long, long ago jape, this.

Nobody (except domai.nr, possibly, which gets affiliate fees from some registrars when you use them) is making much money, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 PM on May 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have been watching the startup space for long enough to see some really, really stupid ideas succeed at their primary goal (which is making the founders rich enough to live comfortably for the rest of their lives).

The Bingo Card Creator guy makes way more than I do for one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard of.

Building a sustainable business that employs lots of people and adds value to the world isn't always the goal.
posted by miyabo at 5:54 PM on May 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Idea:

1. Big Company starts clandestine division to pose as a "startup" to test market a new web service.
2. "Startup," being free to use and free of ads, and maybe sort of useful, draws in users.
3. Upon hitting userbase threshold, Big Company releases statement about "buying" "startup" for some insane (and arbitrary) amount of money. Free publicity draws in a flood of new users.
4. Put ads on every available surface.
5. Rake in the cash.

Same results, except Big Company isn't out a billion dollars.

(Please tell me this is impossible because laws.)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:59 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


this is impossible because laws
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:01 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Someone could make a mint if they created a Web 2.0 name generator.

just hook a FIPS-181 pronounceable password generator up to WHOIS (to discard domains that are already registered) and you're golden. here's 16 straight out of apg(1), complete with pronunciation:

SicoapKi (Sic-oap-Ki)
byotnukImt (byot-nuk-Imt)
Tyocyota (Tyoc-yot-a)
cafAddIt (caf-Add-It)
nenHydOn (nen-Hyd-On)
wyedTehy (wyed-Te-hy)
ugIbFidjet (ug-Ib-Fid-jet)
koHefdian (ko-Hef-dian)
reknoivya (re-knoiv-ya)
cibUrcye (cib-Urc-ye)
notlusjomm (not-lus-jomm)
clyffyoza (clyff-yoz-a)
ryWagDouc (ry-Wag-Douc)
RhidWyphu (Rhid-Wy-phu)
ejtarIlac (ej-tar-Il-ac)
quanJeda (quan-Jed-a)

I sorta like cafAddIt - there's got to be a business model in that name.
posted by russm at 6:02 PM on May 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


(Please tell me this is impossible because laws.)

This is impossible because Big Company is incapable of allowing the freedom necessary to pose as a startup.
posted by underflow at 6:05 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can do anything at zombo.com. The only limit is yourself.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 6:05 PM on May 19, 2013 [9 favorites]


Mtfltrsy
posted by spitbull at 6:12 PM on May 19, 2013


You can do anything at zombo.com. The only limit is yourself.

Flash? That's so 90s. You want html5zombo.com.
posted by russm at 6:15 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Building a sustainable business that employs lots of people and adds value to the world isn't always the goal.

Right, the goal for most "startups" is to trick somebody (anybody) into making you rich, essentially, which is a pretty vile ambition. But I guess it's better than working.
posted by junco at 6:17 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Right, the goal for most "startups" is to trick somebody (anybody) into making you rich

What a horribly cynical and limited view of the world.
posted by Nelson at 6:41 PM on May 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


It used to be that you had to trick hundreds or thousands of people before you got rich. Now you only have to trick one guy in an expensive suit. That's efficiency in the digital age!

Not to be confused with EfficiencE, the new collaborative online tool that allows users from all of the world to share life-hacks and tips for getting stuff done.
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:43 PM on May 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm going to start an app thingy called CommentMash. Basically, you install it on your personal internet experience device and every time you load a page with comments it automatically filters out the crud using proprietary algorithms, leaving only well reasoned and grammatically correct musings on the subject at hand.

Also Instagramr, which automatically applies your favorite image filter things to every single jpg on the internet.

Also FlashFriends, which you log in your details of your interests, personality, and location, and it automatically sets up FlashFriend happenings by inviting a well-selected group of users to go bowling/drinking/eating/whatever together. Basically social events with people you don't know but are going to get on well with. Never be without a friend again! Monetization strategy: venues can pay to have happenings at their locations "promoted".
posted by Jehan at 7:03 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Right, the goal for most "startups" is to trick somebody (anybody) into making you rich

What a horribly cynical and limited view of the world.


Would it disturb you to learn that I know people who have made snowing investors into a career?
posted by telstar at 8:03 PM on May 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


No, it wouldn't surprise me Telstar, there's definitely hucksters in the business. But most startup folks I know work hard, and pour their hearts into their businesses, and do their best to fulfill a life long dream that may be partly motivated by profit but mostly by love. A very few get lucky and make millions of dollars, most don't. I've been on both sides of that. I'll say this; the folks who jump into it for the money, deliberately trying to "trick somebody (anybody) into making them rich", generally do very poorly.
posted by Nelson at 9:14 PM on May 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, this bubble ain't shit.

You'd see more insane concepts and/or demonstrably failing business models getting gobs of money on a good DAY of the Web 1.0 bubble. Hell, I worked for a few of them... :)
posted by rollbiz at 10:10 PM on May 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


russm: "I sorta like cafAddIt - there's got to be a business model in that name."

Perilously close to "caffédavit", my new business concept that connects law students in need of coffee shop gift cards with overworked paralegals that need someone else to write their depositions.
posted by curious.jp at 11:55 PM on May 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Simply log in after every time you have sex and fill out a few simple fields.

Before long, you’ll have a rolling history of your sex life on which to reflect.


Now that reminds me of something...
posted by mippy at 3:22 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been to NaturallyCurly.com quite a bit. It's a really good resource. I'm sort of surprised it got $1.5 million in funding, but then again I have a tendency to assume that any website that's not explicitly about making money or capturing the maximum amount of eyeballs sort of grew spontaneously from a primordial internet swamp.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:54 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


> The Bingo Card Creator guy makes way more than I do

Can I just say I've had a web based thingy that does the same for free for years longer than that guy, dammit?
posted by scruss at 5:05 AM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm still torked that I couldn't get funding for my SouthSeaTulips.com startup.

 
posted by Herodios at 5:49 AM on May 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm going to start an app thingy called CommentMash. Basically, you install it on your personal internet experience device and every time you load a page with comments it automatically filters out the crud using proprietary algorithms, leaving only well reasoned and grammatically correct musings on the subject at hand.

So basically it erases all the comments? Shut up and take my money.
posted by davejay at 8:52 AM on May 20, 2013


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