Stop naming your products common words!

The common trend these days is to name your product a base word:



I get it — it’s bucking the trend of the old domain name cycle, where everything was a made up word or a variation of an existing word (Reddit, Google, Digg, Flickr,, Tumblr, etc). It’s also most likely harder to make a Copyright claim against the name since it is too generic (even when scoped to a specific industry).

But here’s the rub — sometimes this makes it impossible to find you on Google, so I end up having to tack on other words to describe what you do. Go becomes “golang”. Swift becomes “Apple swift”. Django becomes “django python”, Square becomes “Square payments”. Now I realize while this isn’t that difficult — I have to do this for the famous products/services/libraries!

Just imagine being a new startup fresh out the gate, wanting to call yourself something like You specialize in helping people find rentable apartments near them, get in contact with the building manager for them, fill in their lease information, and basically streamline the whole process of getting an apartment. How am I supposed to find you via a search engine? “Rent” “apartments”? That’s not going to work. Unless they remember you are on the .io domain name, you will be lost in a sea of websites that offer “apartments for rent”, “rental apartments”, etc. Once your big it will be great to have the #1 spot for “rent”, but until you get there your discoverability goes out the window.

In my opinion, The best domain is one that is

  1. Easily rememberable
  2. Can be spelled just by hearing it
  3. Is easily findable (via a google search, etc)
  4. Is relatively short (8-10 characters tops)
  5. Has no numbers, and no special characters
  6. Has a .com if possible, but otherwise has a TLD that is also memorable

Remember Qwikster, the Netflix spinoff that never was? How do you end up spelling it? You might think it was spelled Quickster, but you’d be wrong. Quikster? Getting closer, but still wrong. Qwikster? Nope, but closer still! Ah, Qwikster, the fourth spelling that came to my head. If people can’t easily find you, how are you supposed to succeed?

That’s why when I decided to build my recommendation based job website, I called it TrueJob. You spell it exactly like it sounds — True, Job. Its name implies what it does (helps with Jobs), it’s easily found via Google, relatively short, and it is a .com domain. Best of all, you can easily identify it in a search — “TrueJob” will return a lot smaller subset of page results, vs had I called it or something along those lines.

Bottom line, I understand the need for having an easily recognizable clean name, which is why people have started to move towards one word product names / service names / etc. But these generic names can also hurt you in the beginning — getting you lost in a sea of terms that all share that common word. Stick with a name that can set you apart while not being crazy — no one want’s another Oooooc


Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.