How We Came Up With The Company Name
by Markus Brinsa
End of 2007, we had the initial idea of founding the company. Like every founder, we were facing the issue with finding a very cool company name. To prevent mistakes, we decided to follow common rules. Rule One: For international business, use a company name that can be pronounced in different languages without sounding completely different.
Rule Two: Exact match domain name (company name and domain name are equal).
Rule Three: With exact match domain name in mind, find a company name with eight characters or less, preferable in English language. (Longer domain names always cause the risk of misspelling and frustrated visitors.)
Rule Four: If you are doing business in the United States and/or international, a .com domain is a must.
Rule Five: ...Hold on a second ... An English word .com domain with 8 or less characters? - Impossible. Even end of 2007, for all English words with 8 or less characters, .com domains were already taken.
We are screwed, we thought. We already expected to end with one of these ridiculous domain names like www.buyyournewwallpapersshop.com.
It was shortly before the holidays and two weeks before the official company kick off, but we still had no name.We thought about this and that, we had different working titles but no real company name yet. We started getting nuts. We were desperate and started weird discussion. Why shouldn't we do it like the singer Prince who changed his name to a sign. But we immediately noticed that this was not working at all. After Prince had switched to a sign, the radio DJs started to call him 'the artist formally known as Prince'. Bad decision for Prince and still no solution on the horizon for us.
Out of a sudden, the office phone rang. We picked up. The person on the other end talked with an Asian accent. He said that he has heard about us and our new business. He is representing large technology company headquartered in Japan he said and he likes to hire us. We were excited and explained our services and pricing model. The caller seemed to be satisfied. Before we hang up he asked "By the way, what's your company's name?"
The blood froze in our veins. We had no answer and simply hung up. There we were. Entrepreneurs with a solid business idea, a first client but still with no company name.
We reset all previous ideas and started from scratch again. The company name should explain our business approach, our business in general and clients should remember the name. After already having the first client, we discussed what kind of name would make him happy. Well, for a Japanese client, a Japanese word might be nice.
Get It Done
So, what is the goal for our business? Success. Let's search the dictionaries for the Japanese translation of 'success'.
Here it is: 'seikouri'. Doesn't look bad.
Let's find out the pronunciation. Oh, sounds great, far easier than expected. Next step, pronunciation in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, French, Russian. How can we test this? Brilliant idea, we sent emails to 80+ friends all around the globe and asked them for a favor. They should read the word in their language and record the pronunciation. Within 48 hours, we received 57 mp3 files covering all languages. We were overwhelmed.
Listening to the files, we were thrilled. No matter which language was used, SEIKOURI always sounded more or less the same. Rule One - checked.
Looking at the spelling made us even more excited. Eight characters.
Rules Two and Three - checked. (I know, it is not an English word. Not yet.)
Let's get a domain. This might become the difficult part. Let's perform a WhoIs search. 'seikouri.com' - sent ... wait ... wait ... wait ... 'Domain available'.
Really or are you been kidding me? Let's try a different search. Search 'seikouri.com' ... wait ... 'Domain available'. Wow, this was easy. Unbelievable. Rule Four - Checked.
So, here we are. A couple of years later with a company name that really works. And we have a good story to tell.