When building a startup you will have to face several difficulties, but the part I hate the most is coming up with the best name out there. Moreover, it’s extremely simple to get hung up on it and forgetting that the most crucial thing is to actually create something valuable to provide to users.
Here are three ways I always take when I name a new startup:
1. First off, try to stick to only two syllable words
It may sound weird, but most often constraints are useful when you are undertaking a creative process like coming up with a proper name for your startup. The best constraint I’ve managed to come up with when I had to name the startup, was coming up with a word that had no more than 2 syllables. By actually following this simple rule will result in coming up with an awesome name. Don’t believe me? Here is some proof: Google, Facebook, Twitter, DropBox, Tumblr, Flickr or Reddit are just a few examples of successful companies with only 2 syllable words.
All of the aforementioned companies were once exceptional startups. Of course, there are exceptions to any rule, but coming up with names of more than 2 syllables is way more difficult. There are some great names comprised of a single syllable as well, but coming up with one is even harder (Square, Box or Path).
2. Make it easy for yourself and be clever about it. When I created my first startup I tried my best to combine two words in a smart way and come up with something that will catch on and also sound great.
However, if you’re not the most creative person outhere, you could ask a friend with a great deal of creativity. You must have at least one extremely creative person in your life. And if you’re not really the creative type you could consider a word that best describes the service or product you are selling, or even the best feature of your service.
Also, you could use the “real word” approach for several reasons: it will help you avoid any type of confusions and spending countless years clarifying the name to your customers or future partners. Moreover, it’s easier to come up with a real name if you prefer to use a real word instead of actually combining two words.
3. Nobody cares about the domain name any more. It’s sad to see so many entrepreneurs banging their heads against the wall over the domain name. One of the first things I’ve learned and accepted is that when you’re naming your startup, the domain name isn’t important at all. The name itself will always matter so much more than having the exact same domain name. Choose a thrilling name and make sure to go with a tweaked domain name.
For example, if your startup’s name is Crossroads, the domain name could be crossroads.com or even thecrossroads.com.
I find it interesting that by having a domain name that matches the name of your startup seems to have no influence on whether you will actually succeed with your startup. Need proof? Here are some extremely successful startups which either had a temporary domain or which may still have a different domain name from their: Facebook was at first thefacebook.com, DropBox was getdropbox.com, Bitly was/is bit.ly, Instagram was instagr.am, etc.
Choose a great name, get a tweaked domain name and start building! So what name have you come up with when you were naming your startup? What approach did you apply? Or, are you still in the process of naming your startup as we speak?