How to pick a great name for your startup

by Carl Natale on October 18, 2010

I got some great tips for picking a name for your new business. These tips are worth reading for one simple reason: Entrepreneurs regret.

One more reason why spending calories on picking a great name is important: It’s a one-time cost to get a great name — but the benefit is forever. Conversely, if you short-change this and dismiss it completely, you’re going to incur what I’d call “branding debt”. Not bad at first, and maybe not a big deal for you ever, but every year, as you grow, you’ll have this small voice nagging inside your head “should I change the name of the company…”. It’s going to be annoying. And the longer you wait, the more expensive the decision is, and the less likely you are to do it. Save yourself some of that future pain, and invest early in picking a decent name. You may still get it wrong, but at least you’ll know you tried.

via 17 Mutable Suggestions For Naming A Startup.

It’s also probably worth trying out your new name on some informal focus groups. I’m talking about your friends and colleagues. Tell people what you want to use as a name and see how they react. If you have to do a lot of explaining, you may want a better name.

Or story.

So you want a name and story that fits into an elevator pitch.

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1 Nicole November 2, 2010 at 1:30 am

Good post. I personally picked my business name because, as my Google Analytics proves, no one can spell my French last name.

2 Nicole November 2, 2010 at 1:32 am

Pressed the button a bit too soon there! But I also picked my business name ‘Breaking Even’ because 1) it’s first alphabetically. 2) it’s memorable. and 3) it wasn’t taken on any major social network (well, before me anyway). I have a friend who hates my business name but it’s never kept me from getting clients and I love it so I guess that’s what counts! :^)

3 Carl Natale November 2, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Thanks Nicole. Maybe you need better friends instead of a better business name. 🙂

But I like your points. And there’s a good point about what to do with feedback. At which point do we give more credence to our gut feelings? And how do we tell the difference between that and ego?

You’ve proven Breaking Even was a good choice. Did you ever waver?

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