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Naming Your Startup: The 5 Make-or-Break Rules for Securing The Ideal Business Name

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I recently shared an uber with my buddy, Kevin, when the topic of naming his new startup came up.

And when you think about it…

There’s SO much pressure in getting this right.

Not only is the name of your startup gonna be front and center for the next few years (or decades) of your life…

… but it’s gonna be one of the FIRST things that potential customers use to judge you and your company. Meaning, before you even have a real conversation with a customer or investor, your company name will have either created a favorable perception… or a crappy one you’re gonna have to work extra hard to overcome. 

And while there are consultants and naming experts who will literally charge tens of thousands of dollars to help you get it right… 

In this week’s episode, I’m gonna share the criteria I’ve used to name every one my companies (as well as hundreds of companies I’ve had the privilege of advising).

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At a high level, here are the five major (and slightly unconventional) things to keep in mind when naming your startup:

  1. Align with your customer
  2. Don’t be too specific
  3. Outcome driven
  4. Don’t buy the .com
  5. Have meaning

Not many people know this, but the name for clarity.fm was born out of a late night coding sesh. 

I was mentally cycling through the feedback we were getting from our beta users when it suddenly clicked that the OUTCOME our technology was providing all came down to clarity.

If you’re stuck in your naming process, I invite you to do the same. 

Go through your case studies, interviews, surveys, etc. and try to single out any common benefit or outcome that keeps coming up.

You might be shocked by how the perfect name was right in front of you all along. 

Give the full episode a watch here, and then drop a comment letting me know how you arrived at your own company’s name.


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