1. An InterActiveCorp by Any Other Name Would Smell Sweeter
Last week, you may recall, we at the Five Dumbest Things Research Lab confidently asserted that one of you dear readers could come up with a better name than the one Barry Diller selected for the company formerly known as USA Interactive. We were right. Yes, we have a winner for the research lab's first-ever contest, a competition in which readers proposed alternatives to InterActiveCorp ( IACI), the bland-yet-sinister name, announced a week ago, for the company that owns the travel site Expedia ( EXPE), the dating service match.com and other e-commerce operations. It was a difficult decision. To decide the winning entry, we judges labored through a grueling five-minute debate. But before we name the champion, we'd like to take a quick tour of the also-rans. Surprisingly, the research lab doesn't appear to be the first organization to conduct a Rename USA Interactive contest. In emails to the lab, two different USA Interactive employees hinted that the company itself conducted an in-house naming contest before settling on InterActiveCorp. Those employees, in fact, emailed us lists of names that they had submitted for the in-house contest, but which had failed to catch the fancy of CEO Diller. In the interest of preserving these employees' privacy (and jobs), we won't print these folks' names or their entries. But none of their suggestions, we dare say, persuades us that the Powers That Be over at InterActiveCorp perpetrated an injustice by overlooking a rightful candidate for the company's name.
The Name Game InterActiveCorp won, but who lost?
In fact, our favorite entry from an InterActiveCorp employee was one we doubt was submitted to the official contest: Uncle Barry's House of Pain. To us at the lab, few things are as funny as the gallows humor of a disgruntled current employee. Here are some other runners-up, along with the research lab's reactions:
BubbleSurvivor Corp. (submitted by Harry Ward) -- Brutally honest. Plus, as Ward points out, the likely ticker symbol BSCO looks like an abbreviation for "B.S. Corp."
Consumer Commerce Corp.(submitted by "Mrs. Robinson") -- As descriptive as InterActiveCorp, but catchier.
AsiaticVenture(John W. Peterson) -- Pro: an anagram of "USA Interactive." Con: Makes no sense.