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Ask YC: A measurable way to decide between names for a startup?
11 points by brm on Sept 20, 2008 | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments
I have narrowed it down to 4 names that are all available and all are a play on loosely the same two words... I've vetted the names amongst friends and no one has pointed out negative connotations or potential pitfalls to any of them. In my eyes i like all the names and don't really favor any one of the names ahead of the others (since they're all basically different forms and synonyms of the same play on words)

How then do I get a bigger data set to make my decision? Google adwords testing? Asking a question on mechanical turk?

What method will yield better results, are there others?...

Essentially I'd like to use the internet to mimic a market test, what's the best way? what's been successful for you guys?

Pick the name you like the best and upvote it, in general terms its a shopping site... they're under here so they dont get mixed with other comments and move up or down...


This one has the fewest characters and syllables. It sounds better, probably because it has fewer syllables. Go with it.



I would eliminate this one because when spoken, it is unclear whether it's funwrapped or funrapped.


Go simple, shorter words are better for a huge amount of reasons; easier to remember, can be said quicker (name with lowest amount of syllables), a short word-logo can have larger font than a long-word logo of the same size (perception). Anything that's long isn't sensible.

funboxed.com was my vote, because it's the shortest and the sound rolled off my tongue.

you could just post them here as comments and we can vote them up... I assume you own all 4 options at this point.

buying them as I speak just found the discount codes...

haha... when it comes to domain names I would feel uncomfortable telling it to even my friends with out owning it first.

made sure to keep most of them in the dark and to not ask my developer friends

Just pick one and worry about the product instead. No one's going to care that much about what it's called.

i agree thats good advice but it would be wrong of me not to do a quick check for unforseen remarkability (not a word, i know) of one of the names especially since the value added would likely be far greater than the 45 minutes or whatever it takes to set up the test.... It took me 15 minutes to come up with the names its not like its holding up the product

sure a great product overcomes a terrible name but it'd be easier just to not have to leap that hurdle from the start

How will you decide about possible combo of characters? Do you pick one or just buy everything ... just in case?

for example: 'reddit" can be redit, readit, red-it, read-it, red.it, read.it, redd.it "funbox" can be funboxes, funboks, funboss, fun-box, funnybox, funnyboxes, etc

Keep it to two or three syllables, then work on the product - this process can turn into a huge time waster.

choose something that sounds vaguely familiar to an existing term. And make sure there are very few Google search results for the name. A name with too many Google results means you have to really work on SEO to get decent ranking.

i'd do a google adwords test

i don't quite understand what it will tell me though, people arent buying my site necessarily its not a book i suppose, and wont the decision to click on a specific name depend more on what they were looking for than what the name actually is?

It will tell you which site name gets more clickthroughs, which is a proxy for interest. Keep everything in both ads the same, except the name.

The name that makes people click, out of curiosity or whatever motive, will likely be the better name. If you ever do advertise your site, you will have one factor in your favor already. It is ok if you don't have a "product," just put a "site coming soon" message up.

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