How bad is our startup's name?

Our company is called Kno. Our website is trykno.com. The idea came from 'Know Me', a non-technical way of introducing authentication, and it was shortened to 'Kno'.

The conversation usually goes: "It's Know without the W". Confusion follows because know sounds like no.

One person said: "Trykno – I keep reading ‘trick’ and ‘no’."

Others comment that Trykno sounds like a drug. :-/

Are we overthinking it or is it as bad as we're being told?


  1. 4

    It's really really bad. Sorry.

    Anything you need to spell, and then explain, and then re-iterate how to pronounce is just bad bad bad.

    1. 1

      A second point... is your brand "trykno" or "kno"?

      Because the who "prepend your domain with 'try'" thing is fairly standard which makes me think your actual brand is meant to be "kno" - but it doesn't feature anywhere on the homepage.

      1. 1

        Hi Primer, you're right. No need to apologise either! We need to re-think the name and create a strong brand around it. Great product, terrible name! We need a great name for a great product. Thanks for your feedback.

  2. 3

    When I see it written, I see no issue - I get it. But we're all techy here. We get that prefixing your URL with "try" or "get" is very common. But most people don't have that background.

    Based on your issues with describing it in person, I can say that it does sound pretty bad. It's worth considering changing... especially since you're early on.

    And I get it... I went a similar route with my app Twig. While it doesn't describe my app, at least people know how to spell it.

    To drive it home, I chose the URL www.journalforcouples.com to make it very obvious online.

    1. 1

      Cool product Trent. Love the tagline. I think you're right. We're still validating and have little legacy value in the name so I think a change will be imminent. Thanks for your feedback.

  3. 2

    Should try something with knock, like knocking on someone's door to authenticate.

    1. 1

      Like Knock knock, who's there.

      1. 1

        Certainly a good idea that. My worry is it might sound like a knock knock joke! But it's a worthy suggestion and I am grateful. @crowdhailer, let's add this to our mindmap of new name ideas.

        1. 1

          Think knockknock is something that people will remember and it makes sense. It's like DuckDuckGo. Makes no sense but very memorable.

          1. 1

            Is DuckDuckGo taken seriously? Memorable yes. We have a trust issue with our product as we're asking people to trust us with their authentication. The name needs to reflect that. How do you do authentication @planmoretrips?

            1. 1

              Yes I think everyone takes DDG seriously even though it is a funny name. I am using Firebase on backend.

      2. 1

        Nice idea. There is already this, so pretty close. https://noknok.com/

  4. 2

    I was struggling with some new names this weekend for a service offering. Tough as nails. Yea, yours seems a non-starter

    1. 1

      hhaa. yep. That's the concensus. What are the names you came up with for your product? Probably hard to be as bad as ours is! Thanks for your feedback.

  5. 2

    It sounds bad. People will struggle to pronounce it, so just change your name.

    1. 1

      Yes. ok ;-) Thanks for your feedback.

  6. 2

    I'd start over with the name and URL. "Kno" will be too hard, in my opinion.

    1. 1

      Understood. Thank you for your feedback.

  7. 2

    Bad. I have to think about how to say it...

    1. 1

      Ok, if it's not obvious then it won't work. Thank you for your feedback.

  8. 2

    It sounds like a name invented in the east of the Europe, and even here that would sound very uncute. I would change it ;)

    1. 1

      ok, I don't know what kinds of words sound cute in Eastern Europe. Considering international markets adds another dimension to the naming conumdrum. Like Vauxhall are known as Opal in other markets. I'm not sure I'd want to give the brand multiple identies but maybe we'll have to consider that in the future. Anyway, for now, thank you for your feedback.

  9. 2

    Hi Richard. I used the opposite approach with naming my product early on. It seems like you've gone a little abstract, but I was super literal.

    The first name for my product, which helps designers export logo files for their clients more quickly and efficiently, was "Logo Package Automator Bundle."

    I changed the product name to "Logo Package Express" after a few months.

    As far as the URL goes, I think if you're trying to make your name be effective as a URL as well, it's always a good strategy to think of a name that includes query terms potential users may be searching for.

    Since my users will be looking to make logo packages more efficiently, I named my company "The Logo Package" thelogopackage.com is the URL.

    This isn't a perfect strategy for everyone, but maybe you could consider something like: 1clicksignin.com

    1. 1

      That is a great domain suggestion but would it work as a company name? Unsure. The point you make about search queries is clearly very valid. Your URL makes a lot of sense and works as a brand identity too. Need to think about this. Thank you for your feedback.

      1. 1

        I don't know. If Twitter, Pepsi, or Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association can be company names, why not haha!

        1. 1

          PS, you can also name your company/site one thing and your product another. My company is The Logo Package and my product is Logo Package Express.

  10. 2

    It's pretty bad, I think. Not word of mouth-able. Not spellable. Not cute, either. How important is a short name for you. In 15 seconds of thinking I giggled a little when keyitgoodbye.com was available. Happy to spend more than 15 seconds on this, though, if you'd like some more suggestions!

    1. 1

      That's a great idea! But yes, you're right. Pretty terrible. We need to spend more than 15 seconds on this little problem. If anything comes to you please feel free to share. Thank you for your feedback.

  11. 1

    Trick no!

    ^ 100% how I thought it was meant to be pronounced. Whether that's a good thing or not is for you to tell me?

  12. 1

    What are the differences between your product and https://www.fast.co

    1. 2

      Hi Michael, well https://did.app and https://fast.co are certainly very similar. We both offer passwordless authentication. Fast tend to focus on checkout for ecommerce and a promise to improve conversion rates. We looked into this angle and found that we couldn't actually substantiate that with evidence that passwordless authentication does genuinely improve conversion rate. Not saying it doesn't (it possibly does) but I am saying we couldn't reliably make that promise and back it up with evidence so we didn't want to.

      did.app offers superior authentication and the simplest way to add it to your website. Our focus is more on the developer seeking to authenticate a user, get the job done quickly and offer a great user experience.

      I like Fast, it's exciting to see others embracing passwordless authentication. I can't find much information on exactly how Fast achieve their passwordless authentication but I do know more about ours. So did.app is working on existing standards: for now OpenID Connect/OAuth 2.0 and soon WebAuthN.

      There is more information about this on this thread here because I've made some diagrams that show how did.app works:


      Fast are also looking into the business of accepting payments so really the key difference between Fast and DID is that Fast is focussing on ecommerce where as DID is focussed on authentication and making that really easy for a website owner to implement onto their website.

      1. 1

        Great answers. Thanks!

        1. 1

          You're welcome. Thanks for asking me. Might make this into a blog post. From your perspective, do we communicate this message terribly well at did.app?

          1. 1

            I can't really say. When I asked about Fast, I didn't realize it was a service for logging into sites you already had access to. I thought it was for developers, but it doesn't seem to be.

            I'm not really a developer of the level that uses logins and authentication so it's all a bit foreign to me.

  13. 1

    Hi Everyone, I published a post on what we're thinking for our new name:


    Thanks again for all your thoughtful feedback.


  14. 1

    Hi Everyone, Thanks so much for your thoughtful responses. I think it's fair to say the general concensus is "it's pretty bad". So that's fine, we'll think of something else!

    We have some new ideas in the works but for a bit of background, here are some of the ideas we initially discounted:

    • Dinosauth
    • Zentry
    • Insignio

    Related to this, I recently asked @csallen and @rosiesherry if we could start a 'Writing Feedback' group and they've said yes so here it is: https://www.indiehackers.com/group/writing-feedback

    This post would have been a good one to share in that group I think.



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