Can an app name your startup?

The other day, I was browsing through Product Hunt and stumbled upon Namewhale, an app that comes up with names for your startup. I was immediately intrigued. In some of my projects, one of the hardest parts has been coming up with a good name. I am more than willing to outsource this task to an app and try it out!

Startup names are harder than you would think. The name has to be unique, memorable, appeal to customers or investors and also needs to have a domain name easily available! In some cases naming your startup after arbitrary fruits or by stringing together two small words might be good enough. But maybe that just doesn’t cut it or you feel you need to exercise your creative muscle. You then spend a lot of time on this and realize you have better things to do with your time. This is where the app comes in. So, how does it fare?

 

The App

The app itself is fairly simple, all you do is give Namewhale a set of seed words that describe your startup and it gives you back a list of potential startup names.

PS: I have my own algorithm to generate names for startups. It goes this way: Take the core word describing your startup/project and then translate it into latin and voila!
 

The Test

To see how good the app was, I just generated the names for my past projects by giving the app specific seeds, and then compared the results from the app to the actual names I gave to my projects.

Optimae

Description: A smart scheduling platform for the accounting industry.

My strategy for naming: As a derivation from the word optimize – which is what the product did to the scheduling. Alternate names that we considered were Orangutan (fruits/veggies to animals now!) and FirmCast.

Names from the app: Try, TrTrting, Couschedu, Fortforma, Rmarty

Rating: 1/5. Not a great start but Fortforma doesn’t sound too bad. Try is exactly what the app needs to do.

Postura

Description: An intelligent chair that corrects your posture while sitting.

]My strategy for naming: The latin trick. Posture in latin is Postura. Simple enough. Alternate name considered was Pos-chair, a cute play on words.

Names from the app: Ctstura, Uraigh, Ghtirect, Ighteng, Ireng

Rating: 0/5. I think I’ve figured out what the app is doing to generate these names. It’s just chopping each of the seed words into bits and just rearranging the bits.
 

Angelus Smartbands

Description: Geriatric wrist-bands that send text messages for assistance.

My strategy for naming: Latin trick again! Used the word angel to indicate protection. And angel to latin is…you guessed it!

Names from the app: Tricess, Ssstbat, Stbandsia, Risthatri, Orisssend

Rating:  2/5. In a parallel universe, I might be giving +1s to Tricess and Risthatri
 

40 Quarters

Description: Voluntary donation platform through which recurring donations as low as 10$ a month can be made to a variety of charities.

My strategy for naming: Tried to be catchy on this one and we called it 40 Quarters, Change for change.

Names from the app: Lontiet, Ieccu, Fonti, Itharm, Onatin

Rating: 1/5. If forced to choose, I might pick Fonti or Onatin. Onatin seems like a pharmaceutical though.
 

Overall

For the most part, this is just a fun app and I guess I didn’t really expect it to come up with fantastic names, but it is an interesting exercise nonetheless. In all seriousness, I do think that a lot more consideration needs to be given to the name of the company as it represents such an important facet. That being said, random names haven’t really stopped some companies from dominating the market.

Namewhale is just one of the apps that I tried out and there are obviously a lot more out there. Here’s more of them if you are feeling especially bored.

 

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