What’s the best way to name your company or product?

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: The new rules of naming

Having the perfect domain name is nice, but it’s WAY more important to have a name that works in technorati and yahoo and google when someone is seeking you out. Sort of a built-in SEO strategy.
Flickr is a good name. So is 37signals. The design firm Number 17, however, is not. Answers, About, Hotels and Business are all fine URLs, but they don’t work very well if someone forgets to put the part in. Do a Yahoo search on radar and you wo… (read more)

Peter Thiel (Co-Founder & Partner at Founders Fund)
Peter Thiel (full) | Conversations with Tyler

A slight aesthetic thing I believe in very strongly is the names of companies are often very predictive of future failure or success. PayPal was a very friendly name. It was the friend that helps you pay. Napster was a bad name. It was the music sharing site. You nap some music, you nap a kid. That sounds like a bad thing to be doing. It’s no wonder the government then comes in and shuts the company down, within a few years. You want to be very c… (read more)

Brenden Mulligan (Co-Founder & Designer at Cluster Labs)
The Simple Rules That Could Transform How You Launch Your Product | First Round Review

Boil your product name down to two words max. Picture only being able to say a few words to potential users to convey what your product does. What would you say? Summarize your product in ten words or less. If you can’t describe what your app does in ten words or less, something is off. Maybe you’re trying to launch too much at once. To troubleshoot and help economize your language, try asking yourself the following questions: What is the hallmar… (read more)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
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 problem with not having the. com of your name is that it signals weakness. Unless you’re so big that your reputation precedes you, a marginal domain suggests you’re a marginal company. Whereas (as Stripe shows) having x. com signals strength even if it has no relation to what you do. 100% of the top 20 YC companies by valuation have the. com of … (read more)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Change Your Name

Any word or word pair that is not an obviously bad name is a sufficiently good one, and the number of such domains is so large that you can find plenty that are cheap or even untaken

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: Naming a business

First, the main point: a brand name is a peg that people use to hang all the attributes of your business. The LESS it has to do with your category, the better.
If you call yourself International Postal Consultants, there’s a lot less room to hang other attributes. Some names I like? Starbucks. Nike. Apple.

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: Naming a business

Please pick a real english word, or a string of them. Axelon and Altus are bad. Jet Blue, Ambient and Amazon are good. Be sure it’s easy to spell AND pronounce. Prius is a bad name. I can’t tell anyone to buy a Prius because I’m embarrassed I’ll say it wrong.

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: Naming a business

Fourth, don’t obsess about getting a short web name. If you want to name your venture capital firm Nickel (a great name, imho) then you could have www.NickelVenture.com and that would be fine. The only way this turns into a problem is if the current owner of the URL is a competitor (which won’t happen if you pick a non-obvious name, as I write in #1 above).

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: Naming a business

Don’t forget to come up with a great tagline. “lemonpie, the easy way to learn scuba,” for example.

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: Naming a business

1. Use a stock photo CD and find cool pictures that match your name BEFORE you pick the name. If you can find a bunch of $30 images that work with a name, grab the pictures, then the name.
2. Don’t listen to anyone else. All your friends will hate it. GOOD. They would have hated Starbucks too (you want to name your store after something from Moby Dick!??) If your friends like it, run.

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: The new rules of naming

Find a name that came up with close to zero Google matches. The only English language matches I found for Squidoo were for a style of fishing lure (we bought 6 gross, more on that later).
If I had a choice between a killer domain with a generic word in it or a great word that led to a less than perfect domain, I’d take the second every time.

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: The new rules of naming

Web 2.0 names often have missing (or extra) vowels. The “oo” double o is a great way to communicate a certain something about a net company.
“HRKom” doesn’t sound like the same kind of company as, say, “Jeteye”. This is all very irrational, artsy fartsy stuff, and it’s also important.
Altria and Achieva and Factiva and Kalera all sound like companies invented by naming firms. Which is a fine signal to send to Wall Street, but nothing you’d want t… (read more)

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: The new rules of naming

The last thing to tell you is this: you need to sell a name internally. There are two things you should keep in mind:
1. don’t use a placeholder name. People will fall in love with it. Find your name, use that name and that’s it.
2. don’t listen to what your friends and neighbors and colleagues tell you about a name. We had a placeholder name (yikes), I had to change it and everyone hated the new name. For weeks! Now, it feels like it couldn’t … (read more)

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: The new rules of naming

using the fantastic NameBoy service (also a great name), I found thousands of available domains that managed to sound right and were unique. It took more than a month.

Seth Godin (Bestselling author of over 18 books; Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment (sold $30M) and Squidoo (sold to HubPages))
Seth’s Blog: Naming tool of the year

When it’s time to name your project, you probably want to find a domain for it. And, alas, all the obvious and most of the silly dot com choices were taken a very long time ago.
Time for wordoid.
Scroll down on the left, put a short word in the ‘pattern’ box and off you go.

Amir Elaguizy (CEO Cratejoy, YC Alumni)
58 things I learned at YC – Giftshop Scientist

Just shut up and get a. com