You’ve dropped out of college, met a dude who is totally into PHP, and you’re ready to build a startup. Where do you begin? With a name, silly!
That’s where NameStation.com comes in. It’s basically a naming tool for creators and creatives who need to build a bunch of odd names on the fly. In the short time I spent with the app, I found a few great website names including a name for my new gaming start-up, fragron.com, and my artisinal pig delivery service, porkst.com. Ok. Maybe they need a little work, but you get the idea. The service can offer potential names in multiple languages and even “reads” the name out loud for you in case you weren’t sure how to pronounce it.
If you’re not into picking random names, you can hold a name contest and publish it publicly or privately amongst your friends and co-workers. These contests let you describe the project and then solicit names. NameStation will assess availability.
The founder, Tauno Novek, created the system when he was looking for a name for his own business. First launched in 2004, the site puttered along until it gained a bit of popularity. “In 2011, the site was relaunched at NameStation.com with significant improvements – new UI, name contests, new search tools, creativity enablers, keyword suggestions, social features. It became a SaaS app with paid subscription plans, allowing me to dedicate more time to developing it,” he said.
Novek’s goal is to help find cool new names, a feat that isn’t always easy. “Most startups don’t have the resources to have a name developed by an agency or to purchase a domain name from the aftermarket. There are still good available domain names out there, it’s just a matter of finding them.”
“There are many aspects of name development that can be sped up – with NameStation it is easier to do reference checks online, find translations, etymologies, check trademark availability, etc.”
Users have access to free naming tools as well as advanced name generators that come with a paid subscription. A social tool allows for contest entrants to gain “Talent Points” and become valuable branding consultants – at least in theory.
Novek differentiates his service by focusing on performance and depth. “There are currently 16 different ways to combine and permutate words and wordlists, add affixes or generate random words,” he said. The social features also add a layer of assistance unavailable elsewhere. The basic plan is free and the Pro plan costs $10 a month. The site is active now and waiting for you and your LAMP admin to create the next Facebook (which you’ll probably have to call zulisi.com because all the other good names are taken.)