Do we really have to call them unicorns?

I thought unicorns were magical and mystical. The Wall Street Journal found 115 of them. Time for a new name

unicorn
Credit: Shutterstock

If you like unicorns then check out my story today showcasing the top 15 biggest enterprise startups valued at north of $1 billion. If you’re looking for more, then check out the Wall Street Journal’s list of 115 ‘unicorns’ across all industries.

Just one thing though – isn’t ‘unicorn’ kind of a funny name for these companies?

I understand the origin of calling successful startups unicorns. Back a few years ago there were less than a handful of those worthy of the name, and they were celebrated for growing fast and catching the eye of investors. But then the stock market and economy went up and up and up. And so did company valuations. While unicorns used to be rare and mythical, now today they’re not that big of a deal. Not to call out any particular company, but should Shazam (an app used to identify songs on the radio) or Razer (a mouse designed especially for hardcore gamers) really classify as ‘unicorns’ redefining an industry like Uber or Airbnb are? 

I supposed I’m guilty of buying into the unicorn hype – I did after all just write a story about the top 15 unicorns. Perhaps I like the term because it lets me put photos of unicorns in my stories. But we really probably should pick a new name. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. 

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