I look at a startup as a Dual-Decathlon with the obstacles and challenges that must be met before you even get to the actual Decathlon itself.
Sorry, but almost every startup I see flunks right out of the gate. It’s like taking a math test so they got a 33 and they think they’re cruising. Your single biggest and most everlasting decision is the name of your company. There is none bigger.
Most importantly any good or service needs to be market tested. So if you haven’t tested sales you’re probably going to flunk.
Oh, you want to keep it a secret. But with that, you might be wasting valuable TIME. Sorry secrets don’t last, first-movers do!
I have been involved in a number of startups in my life and you know how much time they spent on naming,? Not enough! It was horrible. It was something that they want to get over with fast, not something that they wanted to be thoughtful about. They never took enough time to truly discuss alternatives. The first name was what they picked each time.
So once you have your name the next most important thing is your website name. Your domain name. We all know how bad startups do when it comes to that! So maybe start with the domain name. If you are having a newborn, choose one with an available name. Same with business. Find the domain first or you flunk again unless you get an exact match.
There are only a few jobs in business thinking planning and doing. Pretty simple. But most DO, then they THINK then they PLAN how to fix the calamity they themselves created by rushing and not thinking. They FAIL!
Do you want me to tell you how many businesses start with DO with the power thing and then they can do cleanup
Don’t minimize ANY pitfalls. Must be magnified AND amplified. MUST BE!!!! Can't stress this enough. It's part of my "Back Pocket Stories" (It's on my twitter feed)
So, if you are a startup these are mistakes that will likely put you out of business before you even start. YOU are the only ones that don't know it!
That's why failure is so so so easy to spot. You can't bowl a 300 game or even a 200 game if your first 6 frames go in the gutter. You championship bid was over long before that. lol
Startups need to smarten up and be
As someone who sees the spending within companies, it really amazes me how an organization can spend six figures on a systems implementation or travel expenses for some off-site meeting or Adword campaigns yet domain name selection is treated like the decision to buy a trashcan for the break room. Yet when potential or existing customers visit your business online, what impression do you give them of the quality of your product or service by your domain?
Only companies that have a marketing orientated founder get the value of a strong domain name (and if that’s a strength in the product/service they are offering).
Its impossible to generally get people who are non domain / marketing literate to get on board with a large outlay to push a great name… especially as you’re advocating effectively rebranding. Even then as the person suggesting this, why would you want to take all the risk and effort for a company that offers nothing for your suggestions/efforts.
I’d like to think the newer generation (post boomers) will get domains as they move higher in corporates, but I think they’ll just think advertising on youtube, facebook and all the rest is the replacement for traditional advertising.
Anyway, domains have and will always provide great opportunities for entrepreneurial types to leverage themselves in the marketplace. A great name is like a great headquarters address, in fact you can get a virtual office in some of the best financial districts for hardly anything… So domains again win.
Many do not see the value of a domain name, type in traffic, or an exact match. It has now been 20 yrs and the same problem exists.
Additionally I am now see some new tlds suffixes being sold on the aftermarket.
it seems TRAFFIC is king…
I am new to RickBlog and I must say this article is really amazing. A co-worker told me about this site. Super solid information here so I just wanted to say thanks. I own 100 domains, all of them related to my Hawaii real estate business. I agree with the comment Eric made with regards to traffic being king. My type in traffic especially I wouldn’t trade for anything. Thanks for the awesome site.