The Compendium of Amazing Names (CAN): N

Nebula

An Cool, Mysterious Cloud Computing Startup Name

There’s a hot new (Summer 2011) cloud computing infrastructure startup from former NASA CTO Chris Kemp that promises to shake up the enterprise cloud computing industry. And while most companies in the cloud space just have a name with “Cloud” in it — Apple’s “iCloud,” for example — this new company was able to score for their name the most massive cloud of all, Nebula. Defined as a giant cloud of dust and gas existing in outer space, Nebula is perfect for a former NASA executive with a product that is bigger and more all-encompassing than the usual “lowly” cloud infrastructure products.

The name Nebula has many rich layers of meaning and story value to draw from, which the company is making the most of in its branding. Plus is just sounds cool, mysterious, scientific and significantly bigger and more powerful than a mere “cloud” could ever be. This name is an example of mining the standard metaphor for an industry, but taking it farther than any other company has or will be able to in the future.

[ Nebula ]

Nothing

Nothing is A Brand With Something to Say About Nothing

What do you need if you have everything? You need Nothing. That is the brilliant premise behind the product brand Nothing. A smallish, nicely-finished black rectangular block of sculpture that can be yours for €29 or about $48. The genesis of Nothing was a stroke of genius:

“One night when I couldn’t sleep, I had the insight that for a long time now I haven’t really known what to ask for on my birthday, or what to give others for their birthdays,” says Pim de Graaff, who launched the product at the end of last year. “At the same time I feel, and maybe it’s a generational thing, that we’re looking for more meaning. So I loved the idea to make ‘nothing.’ To give someone nothing, to enjoy nothing.” (FastCompany)

As the minimal Nothing website says, “Nothing reminds you to enjoy everything you already have.” We couldn’t agree more. This is a great product brand name for a paradoxical company/product that is simultaneously an object for sale and a social commentary on the unnecessary profusion of objects for sale. It is also a deft and playful use of language with endless possibilities. Nothing says it better.

[ Nothing ] »»»