Friday, June 6, 2008

Naming My Company

So I've been working at this "starting a company thing" full time for the past two weeks now. Well, I suppose it's more like the past three weeks. But last week I went camping for three days so I won't count it. We got thunderstormed and flooded out in case you were curious.

Back on topic. I've spent some time going over the business plan, learning a slew of new technology and coding up a prototype as well as many other things. Nothing, and I mean nothing has been as hard as trying to come up with a name for this thing. Deciding on a company name is the subject of many an article on the web. This article has some to say on how and how not to name a company; "go medieval" and "if it sounds like someone that William Shatner would wrestle" being some of the best advice I've hear so far. If you're really lucky you can find words like scramasax that fit both criteria. (Already registered by the way.)

Other, often times contradictory, advice I have heard includes:
  • Pick a name that begins with letters at the beginning of the alphabet so your company shows up at the top of alphabetical lists.
  • Pick a short name of three to four syllables at most. This makes the name easier to remember, say and type.
  • Pick a name where the domain is available. This one is obviously very important and can be very hard if you are adverse to appending redundant qualifiers like "technologies", "services", "company" or "gorilla medical supply" to your domain.
  • Pick a meaningful name. This will help people remember what you do.
  • Pick a name without any meaning. This will prevent you from having to overcome unfortunate connotations and also allows you to define exactly what the name means over time. What did Xerox mean 100 years ago?

The only advice I can add is that if you think of a name that would be a great name for your future company. Go ahead and register it now. You can do so for $9 or $10 U.S. Yes, it has been that hard for us. No, I'm not going to share our top potential name list on the big, wide-open web; at least not until after we register the domain and create the company. Yes, I am that paranoid. And in the interest of perpetuating some contradictions of my own let me just say that all you domain name squatters and parkers should be ashamed of yourselves. =P