The other day someone asked me about naming a startup. For many the name starts as an exercise in finding a domain name. Often a verb construct is used in hopes of being the next Google. Face it, google went from the misspelling of an arcane math term to a verb on how to find anyone or anything. We don’t even think of the root anymore.
I am not sure most of the names themselves are that effective at first. I mean, where the heck did tweet and twitter come from. I do think that people like something new and if your name is different, then maybe that helps people remember it. For me a descriptive name is beneficial. Casesmpl, my company is a misspelling of Casesimple. I found that I could not trademark Casesimple as it was too similar to some other trademarked names.
More than anything, it is best if the name just makes sense, that the customer can pronounce it easily. Think about the cellular company Cingular, that was easy to remember. It is also best if the name is tech sounding and looking if you are starting a technology company. I would not want to name a company with a three letter acronym right now. Most of the acronym companies are thought of as old fashion and stale. I’m sure IBM, AT&T don’t agree but for the tweeting crowd, my bet is on a poor perception. If your company is the polar opposite of IBM you do not want to be XRX or any other acronym as you sound like a wanna-be.
For most startups I recommend you think about the target customer first. Then make sure the name is different than the competition. After that, it is about an accessible domain and the ease of speech.