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16 Comments

6 Rules for a Good Startup Name

Here are my rules I follow when I come up with a new name for a startup / project:

6 rules
6 rules
6 rules
6 rules
6 rules
6 rules

What do you think is the most important rule when it comes to startup names? 🤔
Do you have additional rules that I haven't mentioned? 😊

  1. 4

    Nice. So many bad names out there… so many founders could have benefitted from your list!

    My favourite rules:

    If you say it, do people immediately know how to write it?

    If you write it, so people immediately know how to say it?

  2. 3

    I built www.namy.ai precisely for this :P

    Hope you find it useful next time you are searching for a name!

    1. 2

      pretty cool app 😊💪 will try it with my next project 😊

  3. 2

    Any prominent domains you know of other than the notion app that use the .so extension?

    Is it getting popular?

    I already use .so but was wondering if there are any SEO headaches attached to .so (considering it's a country TLD for Somalia)

    1. 2

      circle.so is also getting more popular ;-)
      I think it's often just a question of available domains and acceptance of domain endings. If you are a hip internet startup and don't need the .com to convince traditional businesses or to have this additional push of trust the .com domain gives you, you can go with anything else. Notion paved the way that people heard from .so domains and accept it without questioning too much. And if you have short generic names like notion or circle alternative domain endings are often a better (and if you need to buy the domain also cheaper) way to go than e.g. circleapp.com (which also isn't available btw :-D )

      edit: for SEO I don't see how it could be negative in any way. If the domain name is exactly your brand name (no matter the TLD) I would think it could be rather positive :-)

      1. 1

        Thanks for that feedback! It surely helps!

  4. 1

    This is very timely for me, as I'm currently in the phase of choosing a name for a timer app I'm building on macOS. I'll definitely ponder on those tips 🤔.

    Been following you on Twitter via my "Indie Hackerz" list: https://twitter.com/i/lists/1431004027827929088

    Keep it up 👌

    1. 1

      🙏🙏
      I recently also discovered the tool nameql that automatically checks available .com domains for a lot of name variations; maybe it’s helpful for you to come up with a name: https://www.nameql.com/

      1. 1

        Oh nice, thanks - I'll play around with that.

  5. 1

    Very good and helpful rules. I would also add “availability of Social Media User Names”. If you plan a social media campaign , you dont want your name to be taken. Also for brand consistency purposes you probably dont want really to tweak it much.

    1. 2

      Right! But it's so incredibly hard to nail all those points these days 😅

      It seems like all the good names have been taken already! But yeah...you just gotta dig deep lol

    2. 1

      🙏
      yes, right, very good point 😊

  6. 1

    I am wondering if the first three rules are based only on your intuition or there are some researches that confirm it?

    1. 2

      I derived them from my experience with startups over the last years. For every rule, I know some startups that struggle with that specific problem and often need to explain their startup name to others before they remember/use/pronounce it correctly.
      And that is always a struggle you can avoid when thinking about that before fully committing to a name. That's why I wrote down that rules to protect other founders from making the same mistake :-)

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