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naming a startup March 30, 2006

Posted by Timothy Li in bootstrap, branding.
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[edit, caught Guy's new post on the same topic in my reader, some interesting stats]

b&bdecide on a company name takes time and considerable efforts. I had recently made up my mind on mapMyTravel, my learnings may give you some hints:

1. in 'the art', Guy insisted on starting the name with a character that is early in the alphabet such as 'apple'. reason being that it will be listed at the forefront in a alphabetically sorted list, such as at a conference or at a job fair. (I failed this one)

2. Flickr set out a trend, two examples being 'isolatr' and 'zooomr'. I was well on my way to bring home 'travelplanr' when I got the alarm:
'you will be sending [half of your] business elsewhere'
from James Perly and [Tim Sweet]. (Thanks guys)

3. James has given me an interesting pointer to Tom Peter's 'brand you' – naming a business with your own name. I gave some thoughts on 'timothysTravel' but passed it on. (will give it more thoughts next time)

4. My personal favourite is the name 'bed and breakfast', it answers a customer's first question – what does the business do?

for instance, say you are a traveler in Barcelona, you are looking for a place to stay for the night.
You see a big sign 'bed and breakfast' and ask yourself – what do they do?
the answer is immediate – they provide a bed and a breakfast.

following the same line of thoughts, I arrived at the name mapMyTravel – a travel search engine, its front page is simply a map and a calendar.

I'm glad all this whois domain name checking is over,
and I still can't spell a domain name I registered last month – domesticTravelers

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