Today we continue our new feature What's in a Name with a look at PlaceIQ, AnswerDash and Redbooth.

Last month, we profiled Jellyfish, Marketo and Influitive.


Founded: 2010

Headquarters: New York City

Number of employees: 165

Specializes in: Mobile location data analysis/intelligence, marketing/ad attribution, enterprise technology

CEO: Duncan McCall

Was this the original name? Yes, "born out of a healthy dose of measured risk and innovation."

Who named the company? The naming process was a collaboration between McCall and Steve Milton, who co-founded the company in Boulder, Colo. in 2010.

How and why did the company take on this name? The company’s name is tied to PlaceIQ’s goal of providing a new understanding of consumer behavior through the lens of location: one that allows brands and agencies to inform all marketing and business decisions.

The premise of the company came from McCall’s journey through the Sahara desert. Rather than pay a guide thousands of dollars to act as a navigator through a minefield, he scoured the Internet for a solution. He found a set of waypoints from a recent traveler, which he then downloaded to his GPS device.

He traversed through the minefield without incident, and came up with the business idea for PlaceIQ, derived from the belief that the world should be painted with descriptive, location aware, digital information.


Founded: 2011

Headquarters: Seattle

Number of employees: 13

Specializes in: AnswerDash provides a way for users to find answers online. With its Q&A technology, AnswerDash’s users can find answers, while AnswerDash’s customers gain insights into users’ behaviors and can scale their customer support.

CEO: William Colleran

Was this the original name? No. Qazzow was the original name.

Who named the company? Jake Wobbrock, co-founder

How and why did the company take on this name? The first two letters of the original name — Qazzow — played off the Q&A theme of the product. Unfortunately, the odd spelling (a “q” not followed by a “u”) confused many people. It was also difficult to pronounce.

AnswerDash "captures the purpose of our software, which is to overlay instant, self-service answers to common questions on the web" and "evokes our mission: to empower people with the right information, in the right place, at the right time," Wobbrock said. Even better, it's simple to spell and easy to pronounce

What tech company names do you envy? Google is a great name because it’s unique, easy to pronounce and has become a verb. Twitter has the same advantages, although the verb form, Tweet, is slightly different than the company name. Uber has some of the same advantages, and although it might not be a common verb yet, it’s certainly getting there.


Founded: 2008

Headquarters: Redwood City, Calif.

Number of employees: 70

Specializes in: Enterprise collaboration and communication software

CEO: Dan Schoenbaum

Was this the original name? No, Redbooth was originally named Teambox. However, the team discovered “box” focused too much on the software’s file storage and sharing functionality and not enough on its communications capabilities. "Plus, once we saw how the platform was being used by larger divisions and even for company-wide collaboration, the need for our company brand to convey more than just a small team solution was clear," Schoenbaum said.

Dan Schoenbaum (center) with two employees in front of “The Booth” at the Redbooth headquarters in Redwood City.

Who named the company? Schoenbaum, as a result of a “serendipitous epiphany.” He was considering the new name at the same time he was moving into a new house. “The eccentric owner had left behind in the basement an iconic red British telephone booth. As soon as I saw it, the connection hit me, and I began to investigate whether the URLs and trademarks were available,” Schoenbaum said.

How and why did the company take on this name? “The globally recognized red telephone booth visually represents a readily available, affordable, scalable and efficient way of communicating and collaborating,” Schoenbaum said.

What tech company names do you envy? "BigBand Networks. The name is memorable and is a clever play on words. I also like the name of one of our customers, Splunk. Their name evokes creativity and is unique among a sea of boring industry names," Schoenbaum said.

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

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  Title image by Jack Dorsey.