What name is the best name for your business?

I followed emergic.org to another of Guy Kawasaki’s articles. This one is on the Name Game. Guy provides fundamental advice on how to name your company appropriately. His piece advises entprepreneurs to,

  • Your name must begin with an early alphabet. (A, B, C perhaps)
  • Avoid names starting with X or Z.
  • Embody verb potential.
  • Try to sound different.
  • Embody Logic.
  • Avoid the trendy.
  • Avoid the commonplace and generic.

Name your business after your product: To add to his article, think about naming your company after your product and whether it might benefit you. When folks ask me who do I work for, only the well-versed in the business world realise that Research in Motion makes the excellent BlackBerry. I like to get people a little excited when I talk about my employer, so I always start with – “I work for the BlackBerry firm, Research in Motion”. Amazon.com folks don’t have this problem. I am sure that makes for easy conversation, whereas A9 does not. For a long time, Google was what Google did – they built the search engine. It was only later they started naming their products differently. Certainly, it helped to have a name that was applicable generically. Apple on the other hand, has succeeded in making its products synonymous with its own name.You really cannot say for sure that one way is better than the other. The real benefit is, being able to walk into an investor meeting wielding the clout of a brand name under your belt – we own it, because we are it. (Forgive the hyperbole :-), I am very excited about the future).

Try to be different, but also think big: My domain – sukshma.net, would probably not make a good product name. Over dinner, Vishal and I decided that the word Sukshma is a powerful enough word to be used synonymously with precise and subtle information. The word was easily enough picked up by other Indians who knew their Hindi. I felt, even otherwise – that an Indian would remember it and punch out the domain from memory. Unfortunately, thats not how it works – it turns out, you could transliterate it from the Hindi language in at least 3 different ways (Sukshm, Suksm, Suksma), and the name holds no appeal to someone who is not familiar with the language. I wish I could come up with an instance of a name, derived from Hindi that has made it big the worldover. And yet, the name Ubuntu, a very popular Linux distribution, promises to be adopted with ease by geeks globally.