Naming by Committee
I recently met someone who was starting a startup & excitedly telling everyone about it at a dinner party. The idea was good & they seemed to have some real insights into the industry they were building in. The one odd thing though, was that they were asking everyone around about what to name their startup & their product.
On the drive home, I was thinking about this & it seemed absolutely alien to me. Upon some digging, I realised that this is more common than I thought. Startup Name Generators (now powered by Ai of course) are dime a dozen & there are “naming agencies” that specialise in this. In a big company, the levels of bureaucracy and decision by committee may force a lack of consensus & maybe they have to resort to something like this.
As a founder though, why would you ask strangers to name your startup? This is something that you’ll be spending a lot of time building everyday for the next 3-10 years. This is your vision, your baby & a large part of your identity. Now you might be thinking that you’re not creative enough to find a “catchy” name for your startup. Or maybe you’ve tried and the ideas are all terrible. While these are all valid concerns, I’d urge you think again.
Your startup name, doesn’t need to be amazing. Sure it helps to have a catchy, fun name. It might get you some credibility & optionality to make for interesting content & communication. But in the longer term, the effect it’ll have on your business is tiny. Instead, spend some time thinking of a name that you really like. Something that reflects your vision for what you’re building, something that you connect to. This might be harder you think, considering you’ve to think about domain name availability & several other constraints, but it’ll be worth it. At the end of this exercise, you’ll get a tiny little bump of excitement & love. A feeling of having created something and while it probably won’t be as good as a professional naming service, but it’ll be yours.
And that’s got to count for something.