The Not-That-Hard Guide to Naming Your Startup

vector image of brand on computer screen

You can read any number of articles about this subject. I’ve seen many a startup labor over this topic. Yes, it’s important. No, you shouldn’t let it hobble your progress and make it a miserable, emotion-laden battle with your cofounders. Here’s my short process to take the drama out of naming your startup.

Biggest advice: don’t get emotional. Remember that Amazon used to be a jungle and Verizon isn’t even a real thing. And while we’re at it, what the hell is a Lyft or an Uber? You can make this work.

Let your domain name drive the search. Use Domainr and go on a search for a domain name that you like. You likely aren’t going to find a .com that’s available anymore, so I recommend most new companies use either .co or .io at this point. They are growing in popularity and tend to be available. You’ll be surprised what decent ones you can come up with quickly if you think about it. The Domainr app is on my phone and it let’s me search any time I have an idea.

Keep it short. I personally prefer short domain names. They are easier to communicate and easier to type and remember.

Check your social handles. Once you find one check the social handles in this order: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. You’re looking for something you can register without having to change it across all the networks so people can find you easily on their network of choice.

Make it easy to communicate verbally (by phone). You might have a really good business name in your head (you think) but before you jump on it try communicating it by phone. If you have to spell it ten times that’s annoying and people will spell it wrong and you’ll lose business. I think this step is the most important one.

Make it relevant to the benefit you will provide your clients or customers. Don’t get too cute. No one cares about your vision for the company being communicated in an obscure acronym. Again, this isn’t about your feelings. Pick something functional that will close more business more quickly.

Did I miss anything you think is crucial?


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