Totally whimsical thought of no value this morning:
At what point will we start seeing a wave of cleantech startups named with the same kind of randomness as Web2.0 startups appear to be?
Mint, Foursquare, Meebo, Swivel, PopJam, StuffBuff, etc. These are the kinds of company names you see in just a cursory glance at TechCrunch, one of the websites chronicling the rise of Web2.0 startups. The names appear to have little to no actual meaning, they're just intended to be different-sounding and memorable and have easy-to-find URLs.
Meanwhile in just the solar space alone, cleantech has so many company names that just confusingly run together. SolFocus, Solar Power Partners, Solar Century, Solar City, Soltage, SunEdison, GroSolar, Calisolar, Solaicx, Solyndra, NanoSolar, Sierra Solar, SoloPower, Solexant, etc. Every once in a while a name that's a head-scratcher (MiaSole? Day4?), but typically names that are intended to be more descriptive than creative. And the advanced lighting space is no different. How many different ways can you use "LED" in a company name? Or what about 'A123'? I mean, c'mon...
It's already near-impossible for anyone outside of the cleantech VC echo chamber to tell all these companies apart by name. Pretty sure even most insiders get confused often, although none of us would ever admit it (okay, I admit it).
So when will we see a wave of cleantech startup names that are intended to be catchy and have a short URL, and have little to no relationship to the technology itself? Is it an indictment of, or to the credit of, the marketing skills of your average cleantech startup team? And what will the emergence of names like Brightboy and Flurby and SolFood and such in cleantech tell us about the mainstreaming of cleantech, when it happens? Will it be a sign that cleantech investing has truly jumped the shark?
Random questions on a snowy Tuesday. If you read this far, don't say you weren't warned.