The Startup Name Game: Part II

About This Blog

This site is for  entrepreneurs.  A full RSS feed to the articles is available.  Please subscribe so we know you're out there.  If you need more convincing, learn more about the site.



And, you can find me on Google+

Connect on Twitter

Get Articles By Email

Your email:


Blog Navigator

Navigate By : 
[Article Index]

Questions about startups?

If you have questions about startups, you can find me and a bunch of other startup fanatics on the free Q&A website:

Subscribe to Updates


30,000+ subscribers can't all be wrong.  Subscribe to the RSS feed.

Follow me on LinkedIn


Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

The Startup Name Game: Part II


As it turns out, there’s been some interest from folks I know in the startup community regarding the naming process.

As a follow-up to the first article on the topic, I’d like to add the following summarization:

The primary purpose of a name is to make things easy for your primary “audience” (which in most cases is your customer base).  Make it easy to remember the name, make it easy to find you based on your name and make it easy for customers to talk about you with others and pass along a referral.

An important point I didn’t get a chance to make in the first article:

There are a lot of good reasons to name your company with a “made up” and distinctive name.  For example, my second software startup was named “Captivo” (which loosely tied back to the Latin root “to captivate”).  This was an empty vessel name as it didn’t really describe the product or the company.

Here are some good reasons to use a made up word for a startup name:

  1. Easier to get a trademark
  2. Domain names are generally easier to find
  3. Internet searches for the name will result in more relevant.  The noise to signal ratio for search results is much lower than if you had commonly used words in your company name (like “Green Frog Consulting”).

I generally keep a pool of such made up company names at hand as there seems to be an ongoing need for such names with companies that I’m starting, advising or otherwise involved in.  Its generally easier to keep these ideas flowing when you’re not under the gun and desperate to come up with a name.


Posted by on Thu, Jan 26, 2006


I have been reading your articles in chronilogical order via my RSS aggregator and this particular one really hit home.

My current business name is just not satisfying me at this time and your article helped to confirm that seeking a good name is very important.

posted on Friday, April 14, 2006 at 4:26 PM by Steve Lewis

The Art of the Start (by Guy Kawasaki) also recommends that all things being equal, have a name close to the beginning of the alphabet (especially if you're in a crowded space.) Lists of companies (on conferences, in directories, wherever) are often in alphabetical order, so you'll show up earlier/get more exposure.


posted on Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 5:25 PM by Drew Houston

Comments have been closed for this article.