Naming that Internet Business

Choosing a name for a business, especially an Internet business, is an important but often frustrating step. I’m kind of obsessed about the process of choosing a name that will help, not hurt, the business. My wife can, unfortunately, testify to the obsession, since I pester her with outbursts of “oh, here’s another good one” all the time. Unlike other types of businesses, where you can have many “AAA Auto Service”, each in their own locality — you have the clarity of knowing that only one person can get that particular .com name (and the other .endings are still disadvantaged in most cases).

Some I’ve selected over the years include veriteam.com and cosource.com (both now defunct), Vistasource (funny enough, several years before Windows Longhorn was renamed Windows Vista). Now leancode and its stable of small web projects, including this first project, a web charting service.

What we’re shooting for is a name which is short, memorable, a reminder of what the company or tool does, BUT one that’s not so specific that we can’t make small or large changes in direction without changing names. Combined with the inherent uniqueness requirement of domain names and the gold rush for them, this is difficult to triangulate.

The best tool I’ve found for helping this process is Instant Domain Search by Beau Hartshorne. His tool keeps a cache of the current WHOIS records and provides a wonderfully quick AJAX-style interface to try out lots of domain names, getting instant feedback about what’s taken. I’ve used it lots over the last year — I hope the adwords on the site have made Beau some bucks.

So what’s a good, available name for a charting service? How about chartpart.com? A little rhyming never hurt. And these web services are not destinations unto themselves — rather they are some part of a larger whole. Seems appropriate. What do you think? And check out the site for a taste — mind the remaining beams and scaffolding.

Comments (2) to “Naming that Internet Business”

  1. Hi, came across your blog after you started using my “Digg This!” Feedflare service and from the looks of it we are on very similar paths. I started the Digg service as a small part of my overall continually growing portfolio of apps and services. While reading your blog I felt like I was reading my own personal journal. Anyhow, stick to it and I look forward to reading about our journey and let me know if you have any issues with the Digg feedflare service.

  2. Hi, thanks for dropping a note. We are on common paths! Cool to see your posts on the same topics like VMs, Azureus, Vonage, etc.

    Thanks for the “Digg This!” plugin. The Ad/Subscribe model you’re using makes sense.

    I added your feed to my RSS reader, looking forward to hearing about your projects. Stay in touch!

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