what's in a name plaque

We continue our "What's in a Name?" series today with Snow Software, Mist and Wylei

One of these companies had to negotiate with a woman to give up the domain, which she was using for her photography. 

Another is an unexpected acronym.

And the third? Well, sometimes all you need is a little weather for inspiration.

Snow Software

Year founded: 1997

Headquarters: Stockholm

Number of employees: 700

CEO: Axel Kling

Specializes in: On-premises and cloud-based software asset management (SAM) solutions that help organizations reduce their software spend, ensuring software licenses are allocated appropriately across the enterprise and minimizing compliance risk.

Was this the original company name? Yes

Who named the company? Øyvind Aardal

Axel Kling
Axel Kling

How and why did the company take on this name? Øyvind Aardal worked as a network consultant at Nettspesialisten, which worked with the oil industry in Stavanger, Norway at the time. They needed a program to distribute software, and Øyvind felt that the existing solutions on the market weren’t good enough, so he started a project on his own outside of office hours. 

He needed a short name for the project since MS DOS still had the 8.3 limit on file names. One night while coding and trying to come up with a name, it suddenly started to snow. While this is not an uncommon thing in most parts of Norway, it is in the Southwest, and that’s why he chose it.

What names did you consider before this name, and why were they not chosen? N/A

What tech company names do you envy? None, Snow is perfect.


Founded: June 2014

Headquarters: Cupertino, Calif.

Number of employees: 70

Specializes in: Smart wireless networking for the smart device era.

Was this the original name? Yes

Who named the company? Sujai Hajela, co-founder, president and CEO, Bob Friday, co-founder and CTO, and Brett Galloway, co-founder and board member.

How and why did the company take on this name? Bob and Brett went to lunch to brainstorm company names with three requirements: it must be simple, only four letters, and fall into the category of the cloud. With that, Bob and Brett landed on Mist, which is a type of cloud grounded in reality: it is literally the cloud and ground coming together. 

After Sujai came on board in October 2014, Bob searched for and looked to purchase the domain name, but found someone was using it for a Japanese photography site. After Sujai spent some time negotiating with the woman, he was able to persuade her that the company had a better use for the domain name. 

Later on, there was talk of potentially changing the Mist name due to a controversial meaning of the word in German, but given the partiality to “Mist” and the difficulty of giving up on the domain, the founding executive team decided to fully commit to Mist. 

What tech company names do you admire or envy, and why? Apple and Google. Branded names have more value in the long run versus cloud space names that literally try to describe what the company does. 

Mist employees
Some members of the Mist team.


Founded: 2013

Headquarters: Jersey City, NJ

Number of employees: 21

CEO: Meg Columbia-Walsh

Specializes in: Predictive artificial intelligence (AI) cloud-based machine learning and marketing automation. Designed to enable the creation and delivery of real-time, personalized content to engage 50 percent more buyers per marketing campaign. Works across channels including email, video, social, Facebook and the web.

Was this the original name? Yes.


Who named the company? The name Wylei came from a collective brainstorming of the company founders. Our founders were from MIT and Harvard, and the company was born out of incubation by Aspire Ventures. Wylei is now helmed by tech veteran Meg Columbia-Walsh, the CEO.

How and why did the company take on this name? Wylei means “When You Least Expect It” which describes how Wylei’s technology will wow you when you least expect it.

What names did you consider before this name and why were they not chosen? Other names were not considered.

What tech company names do you envy and why? Envy? Not really. We feel our name is unique, and it speaks to who we are. We strive to always be the best in what we do.