(Photo by Flickr user Mike, used under a Creative Commons license)
Naming your startup may seem like the fun part, but this key step actually presents all kinds of challenges and possible pitfalls. You want a name that is unique and fun and easy to pronounce but also that speaks to what your company is and does. It’s a delicate balance that even a lot of real, honest-to-goodness, money-raising startups don’t get quite right.
Viable is an iOS app created by the Shaw-based agency that gives you a “viability score” for your proposed venture name. What’s viability based on? Domain availability, trademarks, whether there are any comparable products by a similar name and definition of that name — importantly, the app includes a standard dictionary definition as well as an Urban Dictionary definition.
— ISL (@istrategylabs) January 26, 2017
ISL’s CMO and Managing Director DJ Saul told Technical.ly the idea for Viable came from seeing a startup that was out there, raising money, with an unfortunately NSFW (not safe for work) name. “Generally speaking, naming is hard,” he wrote in an email. “Whether it’s a new company, startup, brand, product or organization, it’s a frustrating and often painful process to find something that’s easy to spell, find, say, and share, all while trying to actually have it convey what your business/product actually does. Viable takes a stab at trying to alleviate some of that pain. ”
And the team behind Viable is even using their own product. “We used our own app to determine a viable URL (viable.af) and fell in love with it. #Meta,” Saul wrote in a post about the app.
This is hardly the first time ISL has developed this kind of fun and irreverent tech. Remember PAW? But it’s great to see the agency staying creative after its acquisition by giant marketing and communications brand J. Walter Thompson this past August.
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