I must confess better late than ever that I have a mild to severe obsession with domain names. I had land-rushed, bought and sold domain names for nearly ten years. Although I somehow stopped, thinking there are better things to do on the internet, I often find myself checking some new name combinations. So to end the addiction I will share some of my tips and tricks and hope to see you on Angel.co and Producthunt with some funky names!
A startup name is similar to a person’s, the sweetest sound in any language. It’s the hyperlink in your mind that brings up that certain product. Although people will more or less say that naming came by accident, a sign of god… It’s more than pure chance to get your new company name.
Erlich Bachman in Silicone Valley series hilariously pointed out that a company name needs to sounds as loud as an orgasm.
That quote reminds me of an old joke that all cool motorcycle names can be transcribed as a roaring sound (passing you by with high speed). Take ‘Yaaaaa-maaaa-haaaaa!’ for example, or ‘Haaarrrrrr-leeeeeeeyyy!’ not to mention ‘Duuuuuu-caaaaaaaa-tiiiiiiiii!’
It’s true people will remember an intense name that resonates over and over in their head. But how about value?! You will not make a good impression with a word that resemblence something grim, envious, grey or sadness. Use Thesaurus.com to find closest synonyms, most of cool companies have as name something positive or even encouraging: Uber, Path, Slack, Fab, Zenefits, Calm, Supreme (plus many I don’t have in mind right now)
Check the domain availability. See Domainr.com for interesting domain combinations like hy.perl.ink, adap.tv, acusti.ca. Like in real estate, most dot com’s are already taken, inflating the price of resale. But Google is encouraging new TLD’s like .house, .actor, .photography so the myth that a .com will pump up your SEO fades off.
Learn latin! Well, not exactly… but try to go back on your latin classes in school. The best possible name for a startup is a latin name, they are short, intense and get really well perceived because latin stands at the roots of english language. That means you can target US customers as long as Europe, South America and let’s face it, everybody that has a brief knowledge of english.
I have a list with latin words on Google Docs, next to each, you’ll find a description (don’t worry romans where really positive).
Treat it with respect, this is The Holy Grail of naming things! Don’t try to make a business out of it, there are tons of other things to create profit rather than hopeless gather up domains!
Get into maps of California. Yep! It’s a fact that a lot of companies from the valley take landmarks names for their products. Apple did it and most likely this tendency is still on.
Keep hungry and do stuff!