How to Name a Startup: Startup Domain Names that allow you to Pivot

Premium Startup Domains can increase Value & Options, while Building Relationships with Consumers & Investors

With regard to the domain name you’re choosing for your startup, let’s look at the statistics of pivoting- or reaccessing some direction of your venture or startup. A solid 93% of successful companies have identified the need to abandon some aspect of their initial strategy and had the courage to execute that change, according to Harvard Business School Professor Amar Bhidé in his book Origin and Evolution of New Business.  With such a staggering statistic, any startup with an expectation of success must be prepared to shift gears during the growth process… and to acquire a domain name that supports that value.

Being successful while being flexible within the business model depends on two foundations: knowledge and relationships.

  • Knowledge: it’s relatively easy to utilize the knowledge & insights your startup has amassed while pivoting the application, whether updating the product/market, technology, channel, etc.  It’s vital to have the creative skills, communication structure, and market insights to execute a new iteration or a more substantial change well.
  • Relationships: the ability to pivot often relies exclusively on building the company/brand reputation with consumers (as well as investors) so that when something significant changes, there is such substantial investor or consumer trust… And when quality relationship management is founded on a strong domain name that sets expectations, the pivot actually adds to your startup’s credibility and relationship.

It’s the relationship that’s the most difficult and vital of these two prerequisites for successful change. So, let’s examine one vital aspect of both the investor and consumer relationship to ensure your startup falls into that 93% success rate: a domain name for your startup or venture that allows you to pivot!

Precious few entrepreneurs can execute this tricky maneuver without the support of their investors. Whether you already have investors on board for your venture or you are seeking them, a premium domain name says a thousand words about the value of your startup and your team. After all, investors are investing in people and vision. Choose a domain name that evokes the brand association and truly says it all.

Let’s look at the Uber.com domain name, arguably the fastest paced, most driven startup of the last few years. First, it’s a super short domain- vital for mobile users as that market increases exponentially. Second, it connotes a strong association- without really committing to an exact market. Uber has pivoted multiple times, all the way to delivering ice cream… But at the end of the day, it’s all about being “uber,” “above and beyond,” or “over the top.” Uber.com is brand genius- on a premium domain.

Another case study on a domain currently available: Fig.com. It’s a rare, super short 3 letter word, with universal appeal and huge brand potential! It would add value for any brand seeking to connote simplicity, health, earthiness, beauty and more. Whether evoking the pureness of Adam & Eve, the lush network of fruit and leaves, or the longevity offered by one of the most nutritious foods on Earth, Fig.com provides a bounty of options for any brand: do you see the flexibility- and value- ensconced within? Investors would see that value as well… a hard asset on the books if the need to sell arises…

Sleek, strong, and short domain names with value are not always on the market, so you’ll want to work with a domain name broker to identify options and to leverage relationships even for domains not currently on the open market.

However, domain acquisitions for startups may be easier than you think. Specific domain financing options abound, and some startups like Mint.com have even purchased their domain names in exchange for equity. An experienced domain name broker like Media Options can help identify the domain name that adds the most value for you- and negotiate terms best for your startup’s situation.

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