Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship
How are company names chosen? The initial impression of a company is its name because that is how any conversation about the venture is started. Therefore, how do you get the name right? Oftentimes there's a story rooted somewhere in the company's history that explains how the business ended being called what it is. And I can imagine, if its importance was taken into consideration, choosing that name was a daunting task.
A startup's name is so significant. It's the most outward facing piece of your company's brand, representing your entire business in just a few words. Or, often times, simply one word (i.e. Apple, Twitter, Google, Square, etc.) It will be inked on everything, from your website to your business cards to your collateral swag. And if you're lucky--or should I say disciplined enough in the decision-making process--your company's name will be unique and memorable, helping to build your new company's brand.
Last week I came across an article, Hey, founders — before you name your startup something stupid, read this, that offered some great advice when going through the naming process (like making sure a logical version of the domain is available), as well as some resources to help make some tough decisions.
As I read the article though, I couldn’t help but wonder, what if a startup gets it wrong? What if, after a few years or even months, the founder realizes they did in fact, name their company something stupid? Well, they certainly wouldn’t be the first. In satisfying my curiosity, I came across several companies that probably got it wrong at first, and made a game-changing name switch for the better:
- Can you imagine “Back Rubbing” yourself online to see what comes up? That’s right, when the founders of Google first created their search engine, they called it BackRub.
- Pepsi-Cola, one of the top cola brands in the world, was first introduced as Brad’s Drink, after Caleb Bradham, the pharmacist who first concocted the with soft drink recipes.
- Before Yahoo was Yahoo, it was Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web. Fortunately, Jerry Yang and Yahoo co-founder David Filo traded the moniker in for an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
All of these names were probably DIY startup names, maybe even placeholders until something better came to mind. And for startups trying to stay lean while getting their product to market as quickly as possible, the self-naming route probably sounds more appealing than engaging a pricey branding firm in a time-consuming project. But going at it alone doesn’t have to lead to disaster and an inevitable re-launch down the road. Still, I’d suggest taking a read through the first article below to avoid doing something . . .well, stupid.
Do you know of a now globally known business that started out with a not-so-good name? Share it using #TopOfMind.
Hey, founders — before you name your startup something stupid, read this
It can be difficult to name your business. The name of your business will be the first word spoken at every investor pitch and the first message that spreads to users. Mathew, the author of this article reached out to multiple startups and found that there is no one size fits all method to choosing a company name. Choosing a name is also somewhat based on being able to find that domain name. Here is a list of resources that may help you when you are choosing your company name.
One Week, 3,000 Product Ideas
Quirky Inc. is a five-year old New York-based invention-facilitating company. It hones in on an online crowd of nearly 900,000 people to decide what it is going to sell. “Quirky culls entrepreneurs' ideas, taking those that seem most promising from development to manufacturing to distribution.” Approximately 3000 ideas sit in the inbox every week. These ideas are then narrowed down into the 12 top ideas and then 3-5 ideas get picked to move into development.
U.S. Leads Developed Economies In Startup Activity
In 2013, nearly 25 million Americans launched or were running a new venture. This is roughly 13% of the U.S. working population. The U.S. had the highest entrepreneurship rate reported among 25 countries located in North America, Europe and Asia. Within the next five years, 37% of these business owners expect to create jobs for six or more people.
Venture-backed IPOs raise $4.93 billion in second quarter
The second quarter of ventured-back IPOs was super high at a total of $4.93 billion. However, fewer deals were done. The National Venture Capital Association found that 28 venture-backed IPOs happened in the second quarter compared to 37 in the first quarter. A majority of the IPOs in the second quarter came from the life sciences sector. The largest IPO came from an online shopping company in China called JD.com. In regards to m&as, 97 ventured-backend companies were acquired in the second quarter.
10 Free Contract Templates for Web Designers
This article included a list of 10 free contract templates for web designers. Contracts are obviously very important because without one, there is no legal requirement for either party to pay upon completion of work.