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The Name Game

Congratulations to my friends at the former IDG Ventures, now called Flybridge Capital Partners.  In reading about how they picked their name, it was reminiscent of how we picked the name for Sempre Management:

  • Easy to say; easy to spell
  • The name has some meaning that you can tie to the business and positioning
  • The trademark is available in your target market -- the more creative you get, the more likely this will be the case.
  • The domain name is available in a basic format (avoid hyphens, abbreviations, acronyms, etc. in the URL as no one will remember them).  Ideally, buy a bunch of domain names that are similar to your main one so people who guess wrong will still find your site (and your email).
  • I like the name Flybridge in that it does tie into their business (once you learn the meaning of the boating term).  And, the short form (flybridge.com) was available as a domain name.  Although people may not know what it means, it is easy to say and spell.

We like Sempre for similar reasons -- a musical term meaning "to perform in the same manner throughout".  Hopefully, it will be music to an investor's ears!  People confuse it with Semper, the Latin word from the same root.  Hopefully, this won't cause us spelling problems in the future...Also, they think we must be ex-Marines -- Semper Fi!

The Wall Street Journal had an article today about naming a small company.  They point out that most people don't put the time into picking the right name and regret it later.  Like most things, it pays to get it right the first time.

If you can't read the Journal article because it is behind their subscription firewall, here are some tidbits (the web site says that the article is on page R7 of the March 17, 2008 Journal if you look in the hard copy):

But many small companies don't understand the basics of choosing a good name. They put little thought into the process, says Peter Montoya, president of a financial-services marketing firm in Tustin, Calif., and end up settling on names that are meaningful to them but not clients.

Find the Unique

But, Don't Be Obscure

Avoid The Mundane

Get Reactions -- Ask Friends and Clients before you finalize a choice

One other thing I have learned over the years in naming companies and products -- you may not like it the first time you hear it.  Let it sink in for a while before you make a final choice.  That's where reactions from others, over time, can be very important.  Don't rush the decision process -- you'll be living with the results for years.


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