16 Ways to Choose the Perfect Startup Name

Original author: Cezary Pietrzak
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imageWe all know how difficult it is to name your project, as well as register an attractive domain. In pursuit of a beautiful name, we monitor the Internet and brainstorm with friends and colleagues and do a lot more.
Stop wasting a lot of time on it, write code and are looking for customers, this is many times more important.
The names of the companies that used these methods deserve attention.

There are 16 methods under cat: in most cases they involve 2 stages - creating a list of words related to your project, and mixing these words, i.e. search for the "golden" combination.

Since the article was translated from English, the examples used in the material are also English-language.



Keywords will become the basis of the name of your startup, so the more you write, the more choices you will have. Do not forget to sort them by meaning and categories:

1. Conceptual words. Choose the words that represent the essence of your project. They can include both the category of the project (travel, music, fashion), and the main functions of the product that you produce (research, analysis).

Example: A family app generates words like ancestry (genealogy, lineage, roots), relatives (mother, parents), storytelling (narrative, news), home (nest, hut) and sharing (bond, tie).

2. Metaphors.To move away from commonplace, expand your list with words and phrases that indirectly belong to your business. Experiment, focus on the details, write down ALL that comes to mind. As a rule, metaphors allow you to choose a more original name, which distinguishes you from the total mass, and also allows you to save on domain registration (original domains are more likely to be free and get to you at a lower cost).

Names associated with family: fam, bunch, collection, kin
Objects commonly found in families: photo frame, fireplace, family records
Phrases typical associated with family: call me, i love you, goodnight
Feelings that family elicits : happiness, joy, trust, safety
Moments spent with family: dinner, living room, weekend

3. Synonyms: You can expand the list by adding synonyms for those words that you selected according to points 1 and 2.

Example: Family = ancestors, blood, clan, descendants, folk, kin , lineage and tribe.

4. List of startup product examples and types. Choose the right words to indicate the types or examples of the product you are about to create. Remember that the association with the product should be clear not only to you, but also to your target audience, quickly come to her mind.

Example: Family trees - redwood, maple, spruce, chestnut and birch.

5. Visualization.Sometimes a picture can be more informative than a thousand words, especially when it comes to the essence of an idea. In order to choose a startup name, create an associative series of images that you will find on the Internet. Pinterest will help you a lot in this matter, as allows you to search by keywords among a huge number of high-quality images.

Example: Pinterest, Google image search, Yandex

6. Foreign words and borrowings. Words from other languages ​​have a large number of synonyms and analogues in Russian, thus they can become a good tool in the process of choosing a startup name.

Example: Tree (Russian) = tree (English), arbol (Spanish), albero (Italian), arbre (French) and arvore (Portuguese).

Word combination

Now that you have an impressive list of words that are associated with your company, its activities and its product, you must create combinations of words so that the name is “catchy” and original and memorable. Here are some tactics to use for this:
1. Mixed words. Write one word opposite the other and just combine them! Try combinations of two nouns, a noun and a verb - the main thing is that they sound harmoniously together. This method is the most common in the world of choosing names for startups.

Startups: Birchbox , SendGrid , Skillshare , Milewise , Timehop , Betaworks ,Sailthru , Fitbit , CardMunch , GetAround , Facebook , Geeklist , Foursquare , LaunchRock

2. Hybrid words. Combine words with common sounds or syllables. Hybrid words require much more creativity and accuracy than a simple combination, but the found hybrid always fits perfectly

Startups: Pinterest (pin + interest), Mixel (mix + pixel), Codecademy (code + academy), Rentenna (rent + antenna)

3. Prefixes and suffixes.Another perfect way to create a unique name. It is not easy, since the number of known prefixes and suffixes is limited, so you will achieve maximum effect if you simply write them in a row and substitute your “root” word with them.

Startups: onSwipe , inDinero , Alltuition , Mycityway , Nestio , Goodsie , Spotify , Shopify , Posterous , bitly , Huntsy , Rootsy

4. Mistakes in words.Try to remove vowels or substitute letters in ordinary words. At first, it looks unusual, but your newly formed word will have advantages due to the fact that it is almost similar to the usual one. In other words, the eye and ear will not strain.

Startups: Tumblr (tumbler), Consmr (consumer), Flud (flood), Etsy (etc.), Yext (next), Gyft (gift), Lyst (list), Fotopedia (photopedia), Scribd (scribed), Zynga ( Zinga), Digg (dig), Google (googol), Xoom (zoom), Redd t(read it)

5. Add numbers. Adding numbers and numbers to a word always makes the name more interesting. Use this technique wisely - invest in the numbers and numbers you add.

Startups: 1000memories (many memories), 10gen (rhymes), Lot18 (short), 37signals (37 radio telescope signals to detect ET intelligence)


6. Use domain extensions. The .com extension is still the gold standard. Use it or other possible variations as a continuation of a coined word. We do not recommend using second-level domains, as they greatly complicate the perception.

Startups: Art.sy , Visual.ly, Reclip.it , News.me , About.me , Last.fm , Shelby.tv , Chart.io , Trigger.i , Betali.st , Brit.co , Angel.co , del.icio.us (don't try this last one at home!)

7. Get- or -app prefixes. Using these prefixes may not be the most elegant solution, but it opens up additional possibilities. This method is the least used, if only because it causes a negative effect when misused.

8. Back to front.Simple but effective! If ideas come to an end, and an ideal name has not yet been found, try writing the appropriate "root" words back and forth.

Startups: Xobni (inbox)
Other companies: Harpo (Oprah), Aneres (Serena)

9. Fictional word. The penultimate method, yielding results. Think up a word, apply one of the strategies described above - and the name is ready! To make a word fictitious, but pleasant to perceive, add more vowels.

Startups: Yipit , Yobongo

10. And finally, an option for the most lazy and those who have extra money: premium domains. Different sites have whole lists of good, but expensive domain names that you can get. However, leave this option “for a rainy day” - you should definitely have enough imagination!

Too much tech? Difficult? Perhaps, but practice shows that it is better to use proven methods than to name your project at random. Remember that if it does not work the first time, postpone the question for a couple of days, because you need to be creative with a fresh mind!

Hope this article helps someone. Weekend should contribute to creativity :)
May Friday evening be with you!

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