Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Possible Names for New Blog

I've mentioned this in a couple of the comment threads, but I'm going to be moving to a new blog soon. The new blog will probably be on Wordpress with a professionally designed logo and a customized theme, and the content will have a somewhat tighter focus on business and entrepreneurship. Here are three domain names I've purchased and am considering for the new blog:




The first name has the tie-in with the name of this blog, of course, and continues the semi-ironic attempt at treating Hackensack as a brand. I say semi-ironic, because Hackensack, for those who are familiar with the place, does connote a certain grittiness and lack of concern about image; to the extent that you can spin that in a substance-over-style direction, that's a positive. It's also an ironic take off on the name of prestigious venture capital firms such as Union Square Ventures1.

The second name is more straight forward, and describes what I plan to focus on: launching innovative business ideas of my own, and helping others launch theirs.

The last one is a play on the second one: a steam catapult is what launches aircraft off of carrier decks. As the unshaven fellow in the video on the homepage of this naming company, A Hundred Monkeys2 says, a name ought to have some "mystery". Steam Catapult would have the most "mystery" of these three names. One downside though is that the Navy is apparently moving toward electromagnetic catapults, so when that transition happens, steam catapults might connote retro, which could clash with the innovation theme -- or not, perhaps, since steam catapults will still have been innovative in their time.

I thought I'd take an informal poll of my small handful of occasional commenters and see what you guys thought. Fire away.

The photo above, of a F-14 about to get launched by a steam catapult from the deck of the USS JOHN C. STENNIS, comes from Wikipedia Commons.

1When you are attempting to attract wealthy investors, you generally use a name that connotes wealth or sophistication, or a combination of both. Hackensack, of course, connotes neither. I knew a Manhattan-based financial planner who came up with the name for her practice by combining the name of a prestigious prep school and adding the word "hill" to it, because rich people often live on hills, or in towns with "hills" in the name.

2I read about this company a few years ago in the Wall Street Journal. Nice work if you can get it, no? This, as with most public relations and traditional marketing businesses, seems to be made possible by OPM. I can't imagine a scrappy entrepreneur starting off with his own savings of those or his friends and family writing a big check to someone to name his business. But if a business is venture-funded, that's a different story.


JK said...

Launching Innovation is the safe choice. My first choice.

Steam Catapult could work also. If you choose this one then keep Launching Innovation registered, because that is a sweet domain name and you might be able to resell it.

I think you can rule out Hackensack Ventures. It's bland.

Sivaram Velauthapillai said...

My thoughts for what they are worth. I don't think like an entrepreneur and am not sure what works so keep that in mind. I have zero experience running or starting a business! I also don't know exactly what your business will be so my comments are without taking the business into account.

No one knows who or what Hackensack is. Unless you were targetting a specific geography--say those in the area who may favour a company from Hackensack--it probably isn't a big deal. I think if your target audience is mostly aware of Hackensack, this name can be a bonus; otherwise, there is no advantage to it.

Launching Innovation seems too bland to me. It's gets to the point but it seems simplistic. I think it depends on what services and products your business will be offering. The name is typical of countless websites that you see on the web or mass market books/flyers and the like. I think it would work well if you are trying to attract a mass audience. For instance, if someone searches for you on the web, then LaunchingInnovation will click in very quickly--we know what it may be, touches on innovation, etc. But it also doens't have any sophistication or mystery, as you mention.

Of the three, I like SteamCatapult the best. It is mysterious and unique. If someone sees your business card or runs into your website or whatever, they will remember it more than if it were LaunchingInnovation or HackensackVentures. It also exudes some sophistication because there is a history and meaning behind it. The downside to it is, obviously, the fact that a potential client won't know what it is. If they search on the web or a directory or even see it listed on some conference listing or whatever, no one will know what it is. Someone will have to go out of their way to find out what it is (whereas it is obvious that the other two are about some new ventures or innovation).

Since I like SteamCatapult the best, while feeling it won't be obvious to the potential customers, a possibility is to attach a short slogan or business description to your logo. For example, our building services company is called arcturus but it says "realty corporation" in small letters below the logo on their business card. I don't know how well it will work in your case but it's something to consider.

On a side note, you may already be doing it but, depending on the details of your business, you may want to go through the full process and come up with slogans, phrases, and even logos. Since you are paying a designer, I think something like the logo is very important. One of the first things that stand out when someone sees your business card or hits your website or sees a presentation from you, or whatever, will be the logo. People can tune out based on the logo...

Anyway, good luck with your endeavour.

DaveinHackensack said...

Thanks for the feedback.

I made Launching Innovation the name of my company. One downside of that domain name is that it is a little long. My initial idea was to go with something like Steam Catapult and have "Launching Innovation" be the tag line. Then when it came time to register the company name, I figured I'd just be straight forward and make the tag line or explanation the company name itself.

So there will be a page up for Launching Innovation, probably something pretty basic, but I'm considering putting the blog on the Steam Catapult domain and linking to it. There will also be links to the sites of businesses as they get launched (the first one of which should be in about a month).

Eric said...

I would vehemently disagree with Mr. Velauthapillai about Hackensack. After 10s of millions of albums sold worldwide and a Tony Award winning musical, I would hope a few people would know who needs a house out in Hackensack? Is that all you get for your money?

DaveinHackensack said...


You may be interested in some other cultural references to Hackensack. Cole Porter was dismissive of Hackensack in a song before Billy Joel was.

Sivaram Velauthapillai said...

heh :) ... must be a different generation or maybe not into the culture... definitely never heard of Hackensack before encountering Dave...

Good luck with your business Dave...

Vladimir Vukicevic said...

I'm somewhat biased since I know about Hackensack from first-hand experience - I think that it would be both ironic and catchy.

Launching Innovation is too generic.

Steam Catapult brings to mind the Age of Empires games for some reason.

Market Research said...

While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!