Today one of our fellow Heretics posted an interesting question in the Heretic Facebook Community (which you should join!): “By the way, I’m working on an idea for Big Data Startup right now and got totally stuck with a name. I ran a couple of contests, asked a guy on elance to help, but it still feels like I can’t find a good name.”
Here’s my honest feedback: Don’t bother.
I truly believe that, as long as you don’t choose a complete dumb name, the name of your company doesn’t matter — at all. Especially not when you’re building a B2B venture. The world is littered with highly successful companies sporting awful names — take Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista’s companies (granted — he’s not quite so successful anymore… But that has less to do with the naming of his companies): All his companies are three-letter nonsense which ends with X (OGX, MPX, LLX, MMX, OSX). Or a computer company called Hewlett-Packard or International Business Machines Corp? An online marketplace called eBay? A book seller called Amazon?
You’re focussing on the wrong problem. All the time spent on figuring out a “great” name is better spent talking to your customers and building your product.
Plus: Even if you find out that the name you initially chose doesn’t work out in the long run — it doesn’t matter. Nobody knows you. It takes a lot of time, a lot of effort and a good chunk of luck to become so big and important that you need to worry about this problem.
Your customers will use your product or service because it’s better than their current alternatives. Not because of the name. And if it’s better than their status quo — they will use it even despite of its name. :)