How to Name A Company

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It’s impossible! Finding a name for a company is time consuming, frustrating and not a creative endeavor at all. It doesn’t matter whether you are naming the company you are about to start in your garage or a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Every name is already taken. Every fruit and vegetable is long gone. Curse you, Steve Jobs. Every term that connotes innovation is gone. Every sailing term is gone. Every Greek and Roman god or goddess name is taken. Every tool, color and cloud formation is not available. We are left with making up names. But that’s not as easy as one would think. Slap together any four letters followed by a dot com and chances are that someone is holding on to it in the hopes that someone will want to buy it for a bunch of Bitcoin.

One idea is to just add a letter to a word. Of course, this creates a spelling error and creates confusion with the place that uses the correct spelling. Another idea is to make a name full of x, y or z’s that make no sense. The drug companies are good at this technique and have created an entire world of unpronounceable words. You could consider also using just a bunch of symbols like the artist Prince did a while ago. However, that still doesn’t solve the problem since you will be known as “the company formerly known as….” So you need to have a name to be formerly known as.

 Really long names are generally available but who wants to type in “thegreatestplacetoworkintheworld.com”? (It’s available.) When a good short name that is available is stumbled upon we discover that names are not all priced the same. A cool available name followed by a dot com is way more expensive than a long bad name. Legend has it that in the early days the Internet pioneers all reserved the good names and are now just waiting for us to offer them millions. Forget about it.

So for all of you entrepreneurs struggling with names, stop suffering. Don’t abandon your dream because a name is not available. Just find a name that is available, easy to pronounce and move on. When you are successful, the name won’t matter. Think Exxon and Accenture.

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