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Naming Your Startup? Don't Stress About the Domain Name

Many entrepreneurs worry about their company's web address when choosing its name. That's a mistake, say a couple of startup veterans.

Aaron Patzer built his company into a $170 million business in just two years. How did he do it? In part, he has credited the company’s short and memorable domain name,

"Trust is a complex thing. There are some people you will never convince, and who to this day won’t buy anything online. A few things really help. One is the domain name. is quality, it’s a place where money is made, it’s short and spelled unambiguously. It’s a very good brand name for what we’re doing.  We spent three months, hundreds of hours, and more money than I care to comment on for that domain - but it was worth it," he explained in an interview.

"Offhand, who do you trust more: or (I made that name up, but it shocks me how little most Web 2.0 companies pay attention to their name - they misspell, have long/cheap domain names, and lose trust because of it)," he added.

Patzer is not alone with his fixation on a high quality domain name. Many entrepreneurs when they’re deciding what to name their new business, put a lot of weight on what domain name they can acquire. But their isn’t unanimous agreement in the startup community about the importance of the right web address. Check out this tweet from serial entrepreneur and investor Chris Dixon:

The tweet was highlighted in a post offering advice on naming your startup on the Buffer Blog recently. In it, founder Joel Gascoigne agrees with Dixon and suggests you "take a look at all these successful startups which either had a temporary domain name, or which still have a different domain name to their name," before offering this list:

  • Square was

  • DropBox was

  • Facebook was

  • Instagram was

  • Twitter was

  • Foursquare was

  • Basecamp is

  • Pocket is

  • Bitly was/is

  • Delicious was

  • Freckle is

His conclusion: "Pick a great name, then add something to get a domain name. It really doesn’t matter all that much."

Do you agree?

IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: Jan 21, 2014


Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.

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