Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Name-Game

December 2010
I think I did everything backwards with this start-up.

I got stuck on the name for almost 1.5 months. Everything was taken. I have a start-up diary, where I have logs of all possible names I could come up with. Hitesh and I had sessions where we'd brainstorm names several times a day. Obviously, we got stuck.

I decided to get my friends input. I asked several of my friends for their recommendations, and noted everyone's ideas & names suggestions. Alas! no luck for a month.

I went to the public library, and carried 4 big Atlases in the hope of finding a name through the Atlas. No luck!

I liked a few names. For example; The Boarding Pass, but then everything was almost invariably taken in the domain name space.

This is also the time, I was a recently minted beginner's Spanish student from Costa Rica. One fine day, I was explaining my start-up's concept to my good friend, Jittu. We've been friends for the last 15 years (Gosh! that is a long time). The next day, he calls me,"Hey, Shalu, I was driving, and thinking about your start-up last night. Essentially, you are telling people to go on your website, and get inspired to travel...why don't you try, "GO HERE as the domain name?"

Fantastic idea! Jittu is quite a bright guy. I am always amazed at his risk tolerance (which is beyond the scope of discussion) :p
A domain name search quickly dampened my excitement. It was taken.

A sudden light bulb flash in my head: "Wait, a second! Aqui in Spanish means "here". Why don't I try GOAQUI (pronounced - Go Ah (minus the h pronounciation-kee)?

Viola! It was available. And therefore, the start-up was name -> GOAQUI.

Later, I surveyed a few friends. Obviously, without prior Spanish knowledge, people do not know how to pronounce the word. I got mixed reactions. Our friend, Shikha also gave a sound logical reasoning, and convinced me to buy another domain name, which I eventually did, but have not used it.

I had fallen in love with the name of my start-up, and finally, name-game ended with GOAQUI.

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