Hipster. The company is in private alpha, and while details are scarce as to what Hipster is, folks seem to have plenty to say about the startup's name. Mashable's Brenna Ehrlich asks "Should you name your startup after a meme?" And Techcrunch's Alexis Tsotsis asks the question "Is naming your startup 'Hipster' genius or terrible?"Debates over the importance of naming your startup have resurfaced recently with news of a stealthy startup called
No matter which camp you're in - "genius" or "terrible" - the Hipster name seems to have generated a fair amount of buzz for the company, which hopes to present at Jason Calacanis's LAUNCH conference next month.
But pre-launch buzz for (capital L) Hipster and fodder for rants about (lower-case L) hipsters aside, does this company's name confirm or challenge conventional wisdom about naming your startup?
That wisdom - nicely illustrated in this post at OnStartups - says you should pick a name that's memorable, that's easy-to-read, spell and pronounce, and that's got an available .com. (Hipster is certainly memorable for a certain population, but it's worth noting that the domain name in question here is Usehipster.com.)
But Jason Cohen, founder of Smart Bear Software, has written some additional advice, some that may run counter to some of the conventional wisdom. (Does that make it "hipster"? I'm not sure.) Cohen suggests that entrepreneurs don't need to use available domain names as the way to brainstorm and select a company. Rather, he argues, consider naming your company but then choosing a different domain name.
He writes, "you should use your domain name for something other than restating your name. Instead of GoGumdrop.com, why not BestPartyEver.com or CandyForParties.com. Isn't getting into the first position in a Google search for "party candy" worth it? Those domains still say what you do, so it's still informative and sensible whether you're telling someone over the phone or displaying in advertisement."
With the increasing usage of URL shorteners, Cohen contends, having a domain name match your company name is less important. Furthermore, it's less important what your company is called than what you do. After all, a name - good, bad or hipster, may not be what makes or breaks of your company.
What do you think? Is the name of your startup that big a deal? And should you free yourself from the constraints of available .coms when choosing one?