These companies' websites offer no clue as to what they do

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We define ‘people’ as our associates,

Amway’ish / cult, that’s a no go for me.


Similar to a numbered company, they don’t do anything except provide a BS front for tax purposes. The fancier you can make it all seem, the more great stuff you can snag, like invites and passes, samples. Throw in some stock photos of a building, claim it is your North American HQ… I’ve seen local operations boast about international offices with skylines of Hong Kong and Dubai on the web sites… truth is they got a phone number of a guy there who smiles and collects pamphlets.

Scammy BS “startups”.


Is it time to resurrect ?


That’s nothing, both IBM and HP used to issue white papers about their products and at the end you’d know less about them than you did when you started. Tivoli for instance. They went to considerable trouble to prevent you finding out a simple, clear way of explaining to management what it did. I once worked with a former HP marketing person for 6 months and never did find out what her work with HP entailed, except that it was disruptive and she had a dream catcher on the wall.
I think Microsoft succeeded in the first place because they had a product called “Word” and you could understand what it was for.



There’s been at least one McSweeney’s piece like this. They kind of blend together and I’m not even sure how to find something exemplary anymore.

So let’s bust out the Frinkiac instead.


Hell, I worked for a company that did that. Eventually even the home office became “virtual” and fortunately I moved on to greener pastures.

This reminds me of one of my favorite SNL sketches: “Almost Pizza”


Reminds me of these guys.


stifles scream


Pretty much.

Reminds me of one of my favorite company names: Alaska Basic Industries.

Turns out they appear to be a subsidiary of Alaska Sand and Gravel, which has an excellent self-explanatory name.

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According to their website, they do data analytics.

Meltwater is a software as a service company that first started as a news media keyword search product. Now they specialize in news media analytics. It’s pretty clear from their website what they sell.

84.51º reads like someone put a bunch of 21st century corporate names and “who we are” statements into a neural net and that was the result.


Occasionally I see a storefront with the same problem. Cute logo. What the hell do they sell? I suppose I could stop the car, walk over and have a look. Might be some awesome… thing they’re selling.

But naah.

They’re probably the internet/corporate equivalent to number stations from the cold war.


yeah I thought it was pretty obvious that they both sold data of some sort

Oh dear, oblig. joke. Old and not very good but I think appropriate:
Man is looking for a clock and sees a shop with a big clock in the window. He goes in; no more clocks. He asks the man behind the counter “Do you sell clocks?”
“No, I’m a mohel.”
“But there’s a clock in your window.”
“If you were a mohel, what would you put in your window?”

Which reminds me of a story I was told but can’t vouch for the accuracy, about a developer who was creating form letters for automatic mailing to the clients of an investment company. Unfortunately for test purposes he set the default client name (in the absence of a database entry) to “Rich Bastard”.

You can of course guess what happened; the developer’s contract ended before things went live, there was a schema error and so on the day of first live run a load of letters went out addressed to “Dear Rich Bastard”.
The company went into mild meltdown, and sent out a load of new letters to the entire list telling them that unfortunately they might have had in error a letter addressed to a client named “Richard Bastard”, and please to ignore it.
They got a letter from one client saying his letter had been correctly addressed, but could they send him a “Rich Bastard” letter as he would like to frame it and put it on his wall.

(I originally thought this story was mythical but in fact it turns out that there are people in England surnamed “Bastard”, though they pronounce it “B’stard.” I have been assured by a colleague who was in the army that there was one such in his corps HQ, and that he had heard him one day say down the telephone “No, I am Major Bastard!”)


I remember running across one called “American Country Products”.
Turned out to be the d/b/a name for a company called “Manure Man, Inc.”