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What's in a name (of a company)?

How did you choose the name of your company / startup?
  • What aspects were important
  • What trends are prominent (or not anymore)
  • Any other important considerations (SEO)
  • How do you draw the line and avoid over thinking
To provide a context:our startup is in the mobile apps > games, entertainment, education, learning industry.

I believe there is a lot of "sense" and learning that can go into deciding a suitable name for a company.Would love your opinions on it.

31 Replies

Lawrence Botley
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Lawrence Botley Entrepreneur
Software Architect
making it easy to say and type... if you are going to go with a web 2.0 name then dont go too crazy

If the .com isnt available then its better to go for a .co or .la (or any others) than have a convoluted title

I dont think you can overthink, you will know your name when you discover it

:)


Harman Kochar
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Harman Kochar Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder at RetSKU
Here' my rules of thumb: - find a name that costs only $10/year. Unless you are mint, the name doesn't matter that much in the beginning - you can always pay and purchase a better name later - try to shoot for 2 or 3 syllable names; shorter typically ideal - avoid names with funky spellings, Flickr is an exception - there is no research (that I've seen) to relate site names with SEO
Blake Garrett
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Blake Garrett Entrepreneur
Founder and CEO at Aceable
I recently took my company through a rebranding (in the same industries as you, funny enough) and I looked to this guide (and the referenced Igor links within) for guidance: http://www.jones-dilworth.com/articles/7/on-naming-and-branding
David Crooke
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David Crooke Entrepreneur
Serial entrepreneur and CTO
A couple of thoughts: .com is available Neutral rather than tied to your current biz model, which will evolve Short is better A word which is made up, foreign language or one people don't use much so you can brand and own it and make it memorable Amazon and Google are good examples. Cheers Dave
Tony Rajakumar
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Tony Rajakumar Entrepreneur
Founder/CEO at SnugBoo
Things I thought about: Domain availability Not overly long Not complex - ie simple to spell, not an insider joke etc At the end of the day, if your startup is successful, people will think the name is cool. So don't over think it. Thanks... --Tony
Lawrence Botley
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Lawrence Botley Entrepreneur
Software Architect
Agree with you @tony.. unless the name sucks then you are with it forever

tafluggga.com <--- this is an example of a really bad name
Krassimir Fotev
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Krassimir Fotev Entrepreneur
Founder of Peer Belt Inc.
This may prove useful - http://www.igorinternational.com/process/naming-guide-product-company-names.php IMO naming has nothing to do with SEO, rather it focuses entirely on humans - your future customers/users. SEO is after the fact thing you still need to do, unfortunately. Cheers, -Krassimir
Brent Goldstein
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Brent Goldstein Entrepreneur • Advisor
Bold, Multi-Disciplined Software Engineering Leader - I’ll transform your organization and deliver the products you need
For a company, the name just needs to be easy to remember, hopefully memorable, and "sound good" to start with. This might seem overly basic, but the name will be associated with the company or product through your marketing. Also, not too many syllables and easy to pronounce. Don't get overly funky

You can try to evoke concepts with the name, but this can be hard while trying to meet the above objectives, and can even be counter productive if your products change over time.

In my specific case, I named the company using this approach, and then named the application to be much more specific, based on what the app does.

-Brent

Harry Mylonadis
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Harry Mylonadis Entrepreneur
Brand Builder, Thinker, Doer, Tech Geek. Passionate about Simplicity.
Have a look at this article that I wrote for TNWhttp://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2013/03/17/a-great-name-wins-how-to-find-the-right-name/?fromcat=all
Dimitry Rotstein
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Dimitry Rotstein Entrepreneur
Head of R&D at SafeZone
  • What aspects were important
A name should be unique (today this usually means that it must be a made-up word).
Available .com is important, but it's even more important to check trademark databases to avoid future lawsuits (or worse yet, re-branding).
A name should be easy to pronounce in (and transliterate to) different languages, but more importantly, it should not sound dirty in other languages. For example, Hulu and Yahoo sound awkward in Russian. It's not always a deal-breaker (many Russians adapted by saying Yaha instead of Yahoo), but why risk it?

  • What trends are prominent (or not anymore)
There's been a relatively recent trend of misspelling real words to create unique names, but I don't know if i'ts still popular (plus, misspelled word is not always considered a distinct word by the trademark law).

  • Any other important considerations (SEO)
I'm not a SEO expert, so I'm not sure if the following is correct, but here's one possible SEO problem. If you use a dictionary word or a common word combination, then you may have to fight your way up through millions of search results. Not impossible (Parse did it recently), but can't be trivial too. So the name should be something that produces a small number of search results to begin with.

So no matter how you look at it, uniqueness seems to be the most important aspect.
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