The Dribbblification of Startup Names


Flickr is the first big company I can remember with funky spelling. But they were just the tip of the iceberg. Countless startups have joined them in this trend. There are a few variations of the funky spelling startup name:

The Vowel Drop

Flickr is the first big company I can remember with funky spelling.

This is where it all started. We all know of Flickr. The unorthodox spelling catches our attention and makes it easy to remember. There have been plenty others to follow the trend. Most notably:

  • Tumblr
  • Scribd
  • Twttr
  • Kickstartr

The Extra Letter

Don’t want to drop a vowel? No problem. How about add an extra letter somewhere?

You can even add a random letter to the front of your name too: eBay, iCloud, oDesk, etc.

Use a Domain Extension to Make is Super Cool

And by “Super Cool”, I mean “Super no-one-will remember it”. I know you think you’re super clever, but most people won’t remember your .it, .us, or .ly extension. A few notable exceptions to the rule:

  • Del.icio.us
  • Last.fm
  • About.me

Completely Misspell It

If none of the above techniques work for you, just spell it completely different than anyone would expect:

  • Reddit
  • Netflix
  • Disqus

This is Why I Suck at Spelling Startup Names

Every time I write the word “dribble”, I feel like it’s missing a letter.

The problem with all of this is that it’s screwing up how I spell things. Every time I write the word “dribble”, I feel like it’s missing a letter.

When I hear of a new startup I automatically think it’s going to be spelled in a strange way.

Lob is a new client of ours at Fixel. I was talking with the founder over Skype and I wanted to check out their site. I tried Lobb.com first. Didn’t work. So I tried Lawb.com, Laub.com, and a few others. Then I tried Lob.com. That was it! Whodathunkit.

A Few Tips

If you’re starting a new company, here are a few tips to help you make a good choice:

  • It’s easier to search until you find a good name at the beginning, than rush into it and have to change it later.
  • If your business is targeting the general public (not just geeks), then you should spell it the right way, and try to get the .com.
  • If “yourbusiness.com” isn’t available, rather than misspelling it, try other creative options like: wearefixel.com, letshum.com, getpocket.com, etc.

In the end a good business name with a good .com domain is just a small piece of building a great company. But just so you’re aware, it’s screwing with my teenee littl bra.in

Further Reading

Available Brandable Domain Names

 — When looking for ‘Brandable’ domain names there are a few different tools that you can use to help. The ‘Domain Name Generator’ is a tool…

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