Naming a startup domain name

I’ve had to generate names for companies (and their associated domain names) a number of times in my career.  For me, it’s always been an excruciating exercise.

So why is it so difficult?  I always felt that there’s so much tied to a company name.  In most cases, it’s the first thing that a potential customer sees.  It shows a little bit of your creativity and originality.  So you don’t want to have a crappy name.

Nowadays, finding an original company name is more difficult.  There’s a LOT more companies now than there were 20 years ago.  Furthermore, domain names (which are so closely tied to company names) are a business unto themselves.  Trolls squat on the good ones and will only give them out for good money.  It’s quite sad but there’s little to be done.  (Actually raising the price of a domain name would probably help alleviate this problem, or having some root curated “master” domain… but that’s another story).

In any case, finding a domain name is difficult but there are still tools and resources that can help you.

First, I would recommend anybody that want to find a new domain name (or business name) to check out this Jason Calacanis video on YouTube: “How to name your startup”. It’s a nice primer from a master in the startup business. Highly recommended.

Second, the book “How to build a billion dollar app” has a whole chapter on company and domain name search.

Lastly, here is a list of tools that can get your creative juices flowing:

If you know of any other video or online tool that I should put in this list, feel free to let me know.


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