Like every founder, we were facing the issue with finding a very cool company name.
At the end of 2007, we had the idea of founding a new company. Like all founders, we faced the issue of finding a cool and memorable company name. We decided to follow established naming conventions to get it right the first time and avoid common pitfalls.
Rule 1: For international business, use a company name that can be pronounced in different languages without sounding completely different.
Rule 2: Exact match domain name (company name & domain name are equal)
Rule 3: With an exact match domain name in mind, find a company name with eight characters or less, preferably in English. (Longer domain names bring with them the risk of misspellings & frustrated visitors.)
Rule 4: If you are doing business in the United States and/or internationally, a .com domain is a must.
Rule 5: Wait ... HOLD ON A SECOND ... An English word, eight characters or fewer, still available with a .com domain? IMPOSSIBLE at the end of 2007. All English words with eight characters or fewer .com domains were taken.
We thought, are we screwed? Are we going to end up with a ridiculous domain name like www.buyyournewwallpapersshop.com?
THE SIGN (Or Non-Sign)
We still had no name two weeks before the holidays, and the deadline for the company kickoff was looming. We brainstormed this and that; we had different working titles and iterations, but nothing stood out. We were going crazy and almost delirious (okay, maybe we were delirious) with panic. We began to ponder using just a symbol as the company name, as the artist Prince did. But there was an issue. During this period, Prince was referred to as "the artist formally known as Prince". When we came to our senses, we realized Prince's bad moniker was terrible for us too. Back to the drawing board.
THE CALL (The Real Sign)
As we were prepping for the launch and still struggling with the never-ending name debacle, we had a call from a potential client. The person on the other end represented a large technology company headquartered in Japan. He had heard about us and indicated he would like to hire us (yes, miracles happen every day). We, of course, enthusiastically explained our services and pricing model. He was excited, and we were excited. But then, the moment happened, the moment we had been dreading, he said the words we were hoping he would forget, "What is your company's name?" The blood froze in our veins, and there we were, entrepreneurs with a great business idea, a first client but no name. So what did we do to solve this problem? No, we did not pull a name out of the magic hat; we did what any respectable person would do; we hung up the phone without saying goodbye. Oops!!
Realizing we had to overcome this mental block, we started again. What did we want our name to do? Explain our approach and business in general; the clients should remember the name. And since our first client was Japanese, we asked ourselves, what would make him happy, maybe a Japanese word? It would be nice, and finding a word still available with a domain of under eight characters and .com might be easier.
GET IT DONE
Suddenly the block was gone, and we knew what we wanted. What is the goal of our business? SUCCESS. What is the Japanese translation of "success"?
"seikouri". It didn't look bad. We needed to know the pronunciation and how it sounded. It sounded excellent and was far easier to pronounce than expected.
How does it comply with Rule # 1? We need it to be pronounceable in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, French, and Russian. Fortunately, we have a global network of friends, so out go the e-mails to 80+ friends around the globe asking for a favor. Please read the word in their language and record the pronunciation. Within 48 hours, we receive 57 files covering a multitude of languages. We were overwhelmed and thrilled because no matter what language used, SEIKOURI always sounded more or less like the name. Rule #1 — checked.
Looking up the spelling made us even more excited. Eight characters. Rules #2 and 3 - checked. (We know it is not an English word. Not yet.)
Next step domain name. This might be the tricky part. Let us perform a WhoIs search. "seikouri.com" - sent ... wait ... wait ... wait ... Domain available. This was easy. Unbelievable. Rule Four - Checked.
Here we are, several years later, with a company name that really works. Great ideas are born every day out of the simplest things.