Six and a Half Tips for Naming Your Startup

1. Names are hard. When naming your startup or company you have to consider what you would normally do, and then do the opposite. Seth Godin, marketing guru, says ‘the less your name has to do with the category of your business, the better.’ Starbucks is a minor character in the novel “Moby Dick,” Nike is the goddess of victory and Apple is a fruit. These have all become powerful names because they are unique and yes, have little to do with what the brand ‘does’ – but express a lot about what the brand stands for.

2. Names should express what you stand for, even if it takes a little explaining. Red Cup Agency got its name because my mother was an artist, and every time she started a new project, she drank out of a red coffee cup. It’s my origin story and signals that I respect creativity.

3. Names should be easy to spell and pronounce. Here’s a little story about that. I named my first documentary production company Conspiracy Theory Productions. It was an inside joke. …

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