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Will Your Startup Do Better If It’s Easy To Pronounce?

Arming The DonkeysI’m loving all the data coming out of behavioral science. It really does turn out we’re biased towards idiocy. Fortunately, by studying our biases we can keep ourselves from acting on them. A favorite source of fascinating and useful psychological insights is Dan Ariely,  Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of two excellent books, The Upside of Irrationality, and Predictably Irrational. He’s also the host of a podcast series called, Arming the Donkeys. In this excerpt from an interview with Princeton University psychology professor Danny Oppenheimer, they discuss the findings of a study [pdf] where Danny’s team discovered that the difficulty of pronouncing a stock’s name predicted how it would do on its IPO. The area of inquiry is called fluency. Fluency is the property of a person or of a system that delivers information quickly and with expertise.

(Click arrow to play audio) Easy for you to say?

My takeaway is a simple extrapolation: The easier it is to pronounce, spell, and remember your company’s name, the better off you are, especially at launch.

One Comment

  1. Gino Orlandi wrote:

    People spend a lot of money picking the perfect name. I hear it’s big business in the medical industry when trying to come up with the name for some new drug.

    Same goes for the Internet. Short and easy is the way to go.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

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