Swords, lords, and magical spells are rarely the stuff of company names. That didn't deter Kenneth Wolf, who was resolved to find a name for his New York City­ based software company that would distinguish it from the bland, business-descriptive monikers so many companies pick. "They all sound the same, and we didn't want to get lost in the shuffle," Wolf says. He and his cofounder, Dan Bernatchez, settled on Revelwood, which alludes to one of their favorite series of novels, the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson.

As Wolf describes it, the fictional Revelwood is a village in the trees where characters study the knowledge and lore of the land. Since Revelwood the company (#344 on the 2000Inc. 500) fosters "knowledge acquisition" -- its software helps companies gather business intelligence -- Wolf boasts that the name fits it perfectly. He's no less ebullient in describing the name's effect on his customers. "They found the concept and the story so neat that they went off and bought the book," he says.

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