what's in a name plaque

We continue our What’s in a Name? series with tech companies Pitcher, Xero and Boxyn

One of them switched the company name after the owner of the domain name they actually wanted asked for a "ridiculous" amount of money. Another just wanted to find a name that could accurately describe what its software does, as well as who it helps. The other envisioned a name that played off "inbox." Here are their tales:

Pitcher

Founded: 2011

Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland

Number of employees: 52

Specializes in: Mobile sales enablement and content management for field sales and marketing teams. Pitcher’s cloud-based software is designed to make it easier for field representatives in industries such as life sciences, consumer packaged goods, financial services and manufacturing to plan for, execute and report their client interactions. 

Who named the company? Founder and CEO Mert Yentur

How and why did the company take on this name? Before Pitcher, Yentur founded and managed an agency that built custom software solutions for enterprise clients. Having seen the convergence of requirements of various field marketing and sales teams from different verticals, he decided to instead build a B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company to cover the need without reengineering each time.

The need was simple: there are field representatives with different titles: pharma reps, private bankers, insurance agents, retail auditors, client advisors, etc. They're all tasked with delivering a centrally provided message, a pitch, to their clients and prospects. They are out in the field, pitching the whole day, and they need a solution that would make them more effective and more efficient. This cross-vertical focus on field interactions needed to be reflected in the company and product naming, and Pitcher was born.

Mert YenturM
Mert Yentur

What names did you consider before choosing your company's name, and why were they not chosen? In our first months of operation, the highest demand for our product was from the life sciences industry, so it was tempting to use a name from the jargon of that vertical, such as "eDetailer" or "Closed Loop Marketing (CLM) Tool.”

On the other hand, iPads had just come out and they were redefining how field presentations were being done, so it could've been a tactical decision to name the company around the "Pad" phenomenon like “iPresentPad.” However, we decided on the Pitcher name to showcase our company’s focus and long term vision for the company.

What tech company names do you admire or envy, and why? We admire names like join.me or Salesforce. Just by looking at their names, you understand what they do. Twenty years from now, you will still understand who they are and what they do from their names even though the entire technology landscape will evolve and be different. Just as Salesforce is for companies with a sales force and join.me is for joining meetings, Pitcher is for all the sales and marketing pitchers out there. 

Xero

Founded: 2006

Headquarters: Wellington, New Zealand (Global headquarters); Denver (US headquarters)

Number of employees: 1,450 worldwide; 170-plus in the US (offices in Austin, Denver, New York and San Francisco)

Specializes in: Cloud-based accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses

Rod Drury
Rod Drury

CEO: Rod Drury

Was this the original name? Yes

Who named the company? We wanted to come up with a solid name that could stand up next to legacy companies like SAP and IBM. Accounting 2.0 was our working title. It’s what we considered ourselves to be: the next generation of accounting. 

But it wasn’t a good name and would have been the easy way out. We knew we wanted a four-letter, dot com domain, so when technology entrepreneur and personal friend Dot Johnstone came up with Zero we went with it.

However, when we approached the domain holder it wanted a ridiculous amount of money, so we changed “Z” to “X” and immediately liked it. The person that owned Xero.com wasn’t using it and we were able to buy it for a fair price.

What tech company names do you admire or envy? I like short names that reflect what the company does or creates their own strong brand like Netflix, Square, Dropbox and Lyft.

Boxyn

Founded: 2015

Headquarters: Manchester, England

Number of employees: Less than five

Specializes in: Our expertise is manipulating mail application protocols. We have already engineered a large number of tools that leverage commands both on server and client side. Our version 1 product showcases some of these, and we will continue to evolve over upcoming releases and client side innovative products. We have also developed some basic artificial intelligence to strip out unwanted content (headers, footers, email signatures).

Dave Ryder
Dave Ryder

Was this the original name? Yes

Who named the company? Dave Ryder, founder. 

How and why did the company take on this name? The fundamental idea for our first product was an instant message wrapper around email. Many hours of thought around email and IM connotations resulting in a play on “inbox." In parallel a check on available domains and any similarities led me to finally decide upon Boxyn, tied in with IM for the top-level domain, gave us www.boxyn.im.  

What tech company names do you admire or envy? I don’t really envy names, however I think Cisco, PayPal and Skype are among the best.

Want to suggest a company for "What's in a Name?" Contact Staff Reporter Dom Nicastro