Whether its a serious or side project, whenever you decide to start a new open source project, naming the project is one of the decisions you need to take.
And though a lot of modernists may not believe when I say it, the name does play a huge role in deciding the success or failure of a project! And especially so if that success depends on mass popularity and adoption which is very much the case when it comes to open source.
Now, I'm not talking about some "18th century pseudoscience or superstition" crap which atheists are always so keen to write off, I'm talking about this based on pure psychology. The name of a thing has a deep effect on your psyche. Your own name, for example, acts as your identity for you, you subconsciously associate it with your own self and empathize with it each time you hear it.
A similar thing happens when you hear someone else's name, only that association is directed towards them (or their project if its the project name). The name is like a memory address in your brain that links to a clear idea of who that person or thing is within the database of your psyche. When you hear the name "Apple", you associate it with a certain idea depending on the context (whether its a fruit or a gadget), same with "Google", "Microsoft", etc.
People will similarly start associating your project's name with your project and through the "association of guilt" yourself too! Now, what do you prefer that association to be: a positive or negative one? Should it invoke the feelings of grace and happiness, or should it remind you of misery and woebegone things?
Consider this ambitious github project called Entropic which was released recently. It is supposed to be a replacement package manager for NPM which is a laudable effort considering the problems we have with NPM (large number of dependencies, no support for package signing, profit seeking company in charge which doesn't heed to users, etc.).
But consider the meaning of the word entropy which their project's name is derived from. Other than a thermodynamics related technical term which nobody except the theoretical physics grads will be aware of, there is a second and more popular meaning to this word in the english dictionary:
lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
As you can see, this is a very negative meaning. And believe it or not, it does effect people's attitudes and perception towards your project even if they aren't keenly aware of what entropy means (because the subconscious mind is usually aware of everything!)
Despite being such a great effort in the right direction, the project hasn't gained any traction since their formation though it deserves a lot of traction considering NPM's packaging problems.
Now, I won't go ahead and claim that its their project's name that has caused this, because it is obviously just one of the factors and I haven't even looked at the source code. The people's lethargic attitude to make such a large switch to another package manager is usually the primary reason!
Maybe after a few more years,