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Naming Your Startup? Don’t Make This Mistake

It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make as founder. Here’s how to settle on a company name you won’t regret.

If you’re a fan of the new HBO show Silicon Valley, you’re probably still chuckling about the theme of last night’s episode.

To break it down: The show’s protagonist, entrepreneur and programming whiz Richard, has just landed a $200,000 investment in his startup called Pied Piper. Now he needs to secure the Pied Piper name.

Richard faced some rather hilarious obstacles in trying to keep his beloved startup name. First, there’s the fact that his four employees thought naming the company after a “predatory flautist who murders children” was a terrible idea. Then, there was the salt-of-the-earth sprinkler maker who already owned the name Pied Piper and refused to give it up for less than $250K.

You’ll have to watch to find out what happens, but the episode is a good reminder that naming a startup is one of the most important and difficult decisions a founder faces. A name can drive–or deter– growth. It’s often the way a startup makes a first impression on customers, investors, and partners.

So take a note from Livestream CEO Max Haot, who describes in the video below, how his company picked the wrong name–and then had to figure out how to find the right one.

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