Namificationology just got serious

Originally published Oct 13, 2014

The Name Inspector might seem a tad obsessed with company names that end with the -ify suffix (like Spotify). Last year he released a chart showing the crazy growth of this naming fad. And now here he is with another chart!

But bear with him. The indulgence of this obsession has allowed The Name Inspector to hone some analytical tools that will be very useful, both for doing research into naming trends (this study in namificationology being just the first example), and for adding astounding analytical depth to the strategic thinking that goes into client projects.

The Name Inspector’s interest in namification began with an anecdotal observation: What’s up with all these –ify names? Then it grew into a labored but haphazard search. Now it has matured into a systematic exploration of CrunchBase using their API and some Ruby scripts.

The payoff from the added rigor has been enormous. First, this chart has 338 names on it, while the last one only had 187. (Incidentally, when he released the last chart The Name Inspector wondered if the –ify fad might have peaked in 2012. As you can see from the new chart, it most certainly did not.)

Second and more important, The Name Inspector is now able to do a similar study of any naming pattern that can be found with a regular expression query. So if you’re considering a name for your startup but want to know how it fits into (or stands out from) the world of startup naming trends, The Name Inspector can tell you. For real.

Much of the impetus for the creation of these tools has come from The Name Inspector’s need to prepare for his joint presentation with Nancy Friedman (@Fritinancy) on naming trends at the American Name Society meeting in January. Once again, academic research yields practical results!

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