I posted this morning and didn't see it go live yet (it could be waiting for approval - I'm not sure). I made tweaks to my draft on his site when I submitted, so I don't have the full copy unfortunately (lesson learned - I will cut and paste moving forward), but here is the draft response, edited as much as I remember.
Actually, after doing a bit of research (about 15 minutes on the Web), those names did have some meaning and a story around their creation:
Alta Vista – Latin – high view or view from the top of something (their original logo was of a mountain – so you are searching as if you were a vista point. This is from memory from long ago.)
All words - even made up ones - have some type of meaning. This adds emotional value to the company/product and helps bring in prospective customers and users - and it especially helps to get a great logo designed. Names are not just picked out of the blue - a lot of work goes into selecting them - even if someone uses the name of a dog or city. As you can see from the examples, all names have a story behind them. A great logo is only part of the brand - there is the user experience, the name, how the user learns about the product (SEO/SEM/Social Media). Posts like this oversimplify the process and, unfortunately, oversimplify the creative profession. There are companies that focus on naming exclusively (and rightfully so) - it's an art and science.
Sure, the name and logo needs to be related to the product and service, but at the same time - it helps give creative fuel to the UX/marketing fire if that makes sense.
New customers just know their experience with the brand, how the name feels (fun, interesting, etc.) and extends to the experience, and what the product/service is offering. All of this together creates a memory in the user's mind about the product. Hopefully it's a good memory and the user comes back. In the end, all of the elements of a brand/experience riff off of each other like a great jazz band. Everything is interconnected.
Such posts typically alarm me when they are not from branding or marketing experts because they leave out a lot of the story about what makes a good user experience. I'm not an expert in creating P&L statements or coding - which makes me not qualified to write about such things. Maybe given this post I should start doing that - I must be missing out.
As an aside - there has been psychology research completed on how names influence individual personalities.