What’s in a name?

28 02 2007

Whenever I tell anyone that I’m considering starting a software company, the first question I almost always get is about the name. What am I going to name the company? I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about a name, and I seriously have come up empty (well, almost). The first and only name that I’ve thought of is 3 Dogs Software, which only recently became available (yes, there actually was another software company with that name).

Then I read this great article in Inc. on branding, and I started thinking about the main message I wanted to communicate to potential buyers. What would my values be, and how would I characterize my business? My friend Mark came up with the slogan, “software doesn’t have to suck”, but it didn’t help me in thinking up a name for my company.

All this high level thinking about purpose, values, and vision has made me realize that I’ve lost sight a little of the actual product. A few days ago I was reading 25 steps to starting an ISV, and step 1 is to come up with a name for the product. A name for the product? What a novel idea! I seriously had never even considered what I would call this climbing wall software. When I attended NIRSA last year I brought flyers with me that described it as “Climbing Wall Management Software”.

Now that I’ve had a chance to consider it a little more, I think a product name is more important than a company name, so that’s where I’m focusing my naming efforts for the moment. I haven’t come up with much yet except ClimbOn.com, which is taken by squatters (and on sale for a cool $8,500). Hopefully in a week or so I’ll be posting here with a catchy name for my flagship product. In the meantime I’ll be writing about the painstaking process of coming up with a creative name that hasn’t been taken.

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One response

2 03 2007
lb

so you got a name for the product yet? don’t go givin money to squatters whatever you do.

here’s two articles with suggested techniques:
http://www.thenameinspector.com/10-name-types/
and
http://www.trizle.com/how-to-name-your-company/

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