How to Test Your Startup Name

So, you've got a new project or startup and you need to name it. You brainstorm a big list of words. You check domain name and trademark availability. And soon, you've narrowed it down to the provisional name, a name like ... Twitter.

WNYC interviewed the company's co-founder Jack Dorsey about how he ended up picking Twitter over its competitor, Twitch.

I like the word Twitch, but I felt really bad about it. I didn't feel bad about Twitter at all. I wrote it down a bunch of times. I drew it out. It just felt great. I knew that if I felt great about it, I could convince others to feel great about it, too.

I would say Jack executed a kind of "cringe test," in which he forced himself to say both names with a straight face and measured his own internal reaction. That's pretty much the way that I've done it, too (with Longshot Magazine or other projects).

I like that Jack wrote Twitter a bunch of times on (I assume) the principle that seeing it in black and white would clarify whether it had any cringe-inducing elements. Does anyone else have a more complex strategy or process?

Via Jody Avirgnan.

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