Excerpt from the ‘Getting a Billion People Working From Home‘ episode of the My First Million podcast with Shaan Puri. The entire episode (linked to above) is great but I wanted to focus on what Jason Chicola shares about naming his company and acquiring the domain. He demonstrates some hard-earned wisdom in his approach.
Chicola spent $400k to acquire Rev.com (a huge part of their assets at the time).
Started off with a funky (animal + keyword) $12 Godaddy domain to make clear and specific their initial product offering. Knew it was temporary. “Spend no time at the beginning thinking about a name because the odds that your business is going to work are not super high”.
Only later when the business was working and they’d found a good product/market fit did he prioritize naming the company.
“It’s really a two part problem. One is picking a name that you love, and then figuring out can you get the domain name”.
Hired two domain brokers to research his name list.
Used Mechanical Turk to evaluate names…”What three words does this name evoke?”
Change Your Name
“If you have a US startup called X and you don’t have x.com, you should probably change your name.
The reason is not just that people can’t find you. For companies with mobile apps, especially, having the right domain name is not as critical as it used to be for getting users. The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness.”
–Paul Graham 8, 2015
Brutal Honesty: The Developer CEO & Our Journey
So, in the end, we went with a terrible domain name – “teamworkpm.net”. Could it be worse? Captain Hindsight says we should have called it GetTeamwork.com
The upgrade to Teamwork.com cost them $675k
For more information or to make an offer please email me.
More great names here!
(Where a Twitter handle is mentioned, I’m happy to transfer it to you for free at the conclusion of a domain sale.) Contact form, or email me…
Most of my domains are priced low to mid 4 figures.
Need a domain to run a market test? I’ll point the DNS to your test if you’ll share the data.
Are these domains an appropriate quality/price point, but not in your vertical? I can find you a domain.
Lots more elsewhere in the blog or email me!
Are you following the excellent new Alex Blumberg podcast series, Startup? Alex is documenting the evolution of his new podcasting company and in this episode we hear all about naming your company. If you’re new to naming this is a great introduction. Alex and Matt eventually settle on a name, Gimlet, suggested to them by the folks at Lexicon Branding who agreed to help despite there being no budget. Alex alludes to the normally hefty fee for these naming services but doesn’t mention a number. I would suggest that it would normally cost $50-75k at least, to hire someone like Lexicon. [For reference, see my 2010 post, Naming Names at 75k a Pop] Interesting to me that they meet at the NY Athletic club… members only… no jeans etc. I think that a lot of what you’re buying from a high-end branding firm is the feeling that you’ve entered an exclusive club where an elite force of genius wordists conspire to generate a magic spell that will launch your company into the zeitgeist. At the end of the day, if having spent $100k you feel like you got a great name and everyone is more or less happy with it. Maybe it was worth it.
But if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you were forwarded here by typing a name you’re researching into your browser bar. The takeaway is that both you, and I, someone who has been naming/domaining since 2008, agree that that name is valuable. How valuable? My under-the-radar techniques for researching and acquiring great names for good prices means that most of mine are for sale in the lower to mid 4 figure range. Less than you’d probably pay for a day in the office of a high-end naming firm.
We came up with hundreds and hundreds of names, so many names, it was such a grueling exercise. We had naming parties at our house, an we brought our friends over, and we had pizza and beer, and we’re like, ‘Come up with names!’.