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How to Choose Your Company's Name?

18. March 2009 03:34 by Scott in   //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

What really is in a company name?  Here I sit like a bird in the wilderness trying to name a start up company that I am ready to push out on the web.  I have come up with various names that would hopefully sell my product just by a catchy name.  But alas, all the names I have currently come up with have been taken on the web and would have been great.  All the names have poorly built websites which look like they were built back in the beginning of the internet.  So in a fell swoop, I decided to write down the best ways to name a startup.

The First idea would be to use the Two-Part Rule. Take the company PayPal.  If you split the name up, you have the words "Pay" and "Pal".  Pay is the literal sense of paying someone.  Pal is like your friend.  It describes something positive.  Our minds are built to make connections, to group information very fast subconsciously.  When a metaphor is found our brain associates it with the next object or reference.  This type of name subconsciously creates a positive forming of the brand and therefore is a woven connection with the name.


Taken by pedrosimoes7

The Second idea would be to use the two syllable rule.  Many companies like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and other companies have only two syllables in their names.  This in turn allows the brain to remember only two syllables that make sense.  The two syllables work extremely well when trying to put it into action.  Look at twitter.  Some one says im going to twitter it. As well as with the company like Google.  Go Google it.  People don't say go Microsoft it.  People subconsciously don't like saying more than 2 syllables when speaking.  Try it your self and try to put an action to a company that has three syllables or more.

The Third idea would be a play on words to link to an important or well known word.  Yahoo(YaHoo!), Google (googol), Micro-Soft (Micro - Software), Wal-Mart (Sam Walton - Market), Intel (Intelligent).  These names don't have to be actionable or even the two part rule idea.  They just have to click well. If they are a new word, then they need to play off another word or phrase.  If they are an old word, then they need to show excitement and cannot be dull.

In trying to find a name for my start up company, I have been using the first and second ideas, but not the third because I am not that creative.  I do imagine if I started to use the third idea, I have a lot more company names to choose from.  But as of now, I still do not have a name to come up with.

EDIT: At this moment due to trying to keep my idea private, I will keep the names I have thought of private.  I will release the names soon, just not yet.

Thanks for listening.


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Will the First Hacker in The Room Please Turn the Lights Back On?

16. March 2009 03:53 by Scott in   //  Tags: , , , , , , ,   //   Comments (3)

Before I go into detail I must define a few things:

Hacker - is a person who heavily modifies the software or hardware of their computer system. It includes building, rebuilding, modifying and creating software (software cracking, demo scene) and electronic hardware (hardware hacking, modding) either to make it better, faster, give added features or to make it do something it was never intended to do. Hobby hacking originated around the MITS Altair.

Computer Hobbyist - A person who tinkered with computers and built new hardware, operating systems and even word processors.

What ever happened to the Computer Hobbyist?

Computer Hobbyists are still around, but they are now called Hackers. In the 60's, 70's, 80's and even in the 90's there a group of people who lived on IRC and bulletin boards.  Apple was started by them and they had an anti-IBM sentiment.  Years later most of the "old school" computer hobbyist gave up their pursuits and they complained about the big companies and big business revolution that has taken over.  The hobby was getting too expensive to keep tinkering with computers.  Things were changing every 18 months or so and that was just too rapid for most.  This was in the period of about 1985 through 1992 when you needed to buy another desktop computer every 18 months.  Most hobbyist bailed out during that time just because it was too expensive.  The reason they havn't returned to the scene was that programming was turning into a nightmare.  It would now take a full time commitment and most programming languages needed schooling as well.  So they left the scene back around 1992.  Sad time, but times; they are changing. Programming is getting easier.  Code is getting easier to write and now hackers are making modifications to hardware.  Instead of creating it, they are now modding it.

 

Hackers have now taken up the slack as the computer hobbyists have fallen off.  Its the changing of the guard.  Computer Hobbyist seemed to have turn out the lights in the room and now the lights are back on and in full swing. PC Magazine has fallen off the shelves.  They should be reinventing them selves for the new hacker sub culture thats coming into play. Hackers these days can be found deep in their cave working on the next software modification.  They work on software and on hardware.  They are thriving and making up for lost time.  These days, hackers are known to create new startups.  These start ups will be the Apple of tomorrow. Apple was once started as a hobby and now there are many companies forming around software and hardware innovation.  Hackers are now the innovators of software and hardware.  Look them up.  A large portion of them can be found on a site like Hacker News.


Photo by Yodel Anecdotal

So if your wondering where the last computer hobbyist went.  You don't have to look very far.  They are the new guard and will hopefully make the old Computer Hobbyists proud.

Posted in response to Will the last Computer Hobbyist Please turn out the lights?

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The Passionate Developer

11. March 2009 03:46 by Scott in   //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (0)

If you figure out what your passion is, you know what to start on next.

Here I am trying to figure out what to build next.  I find my self almost completely done with DrinkingFor. Not wanting to continue building on it due to the amount of sites out there about drinking games.  Lets call it an experiment for the good coder who wants to get better and leave it at that.

I find my self getting a little bored with coding.  Not truly bored, but tired of doing it for nothing.  I haven't really created anything special yet, and have a ton of ideas, but I haven't started one.  I have sifted through all of them trying to figure out which to run with next.  One of my ideas which I wrote down on paper just got launched a few days ago by someone else.  I am truly proud to see it doing so well, but it makes me think I wish I had executed it instead of drinkingfor.  It seems to be getting a lot more folks on it than what drinkingfor is doing.  I thought about building a competitor to it and just build faster than them, but they seem to be doing a good job and would rather let them have the fun.


Posted by ktylerconk

I decided to sift through my ideas again and find something I was passionate about instead of finding something I would make money from.  I needed to find something I enjoyed instead of something that would just bring in the dough.  I settled on an idea that I think would be a bit challenging and fun all at the same time.

The point of this post is not much, but should make you think about what you build next.  Find something you love and develop something from it.

Im going to try and not get bored from this project.

Thanks for listening.

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What if I Sold?

2. March 2009 03:20 by Scott in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (9)

Lets say, Lets say you sold your company or start up tomorrow and never had to work or worry about money again.  Putting it at a nice round number of $10 mil ($10,000,000).  What would you do next?  Where would you go?  Are you happy with what you have right now?  I contemplated this idea that if I did have that kind of money after just selling my business, I wouldn't try to blow it. Though I would do a few things like pay off my bills of course which would be such a small sampling of that money.  So what would I do next?


Photo by Alaskan Dude
  • I would leave everything behind and go travel for a year.  Get away from everything and just live.
  • I would keep in shape with my new Erg (rowing machine)
  • I would stop setting the alarm clock.
  • I would stop saying I have to work.
  • I would spend more time with my lovely girl friend.
  • I would throw deadlines out the window.
  • I would study up on things. Learn another language that I never had time for while I traveled.
  • Start a charitable foundation that allowed me to improve the world by small increments.
  • Invest in developing nations, give people in third world countries micro loans.
  • Invest in an incubator for other start ups.
  • Live somewhere long enough to learn their language.  Tuscany always sounded nice.
  • Get my teaching certificate and teach kids how to create software in high school, NOT college.
  • Tutor kids.
  • Spend some time in quiet reflection.  Take a few months to clear my mind and gather my thoughts on self worth.
Last, but definitely not least.
  • I would do it again.
  • Create a hacker house for the like minded.
  • Once is luck, but twice is a skill.

Thanks for letting me share.  What are your ideas?  I would love to hear them and see what you would do.  I hopefully one day will have something like this. Lets see what I can do.  

It is possible to make $10 Mil. Just stop telling your self someday.

Remember that:

  1. You make your own choices, and there is always tradeoffs.  Start trading something else for creating a startup.
  2. Stop telling your self someday.  It can easily turn into never.  Don't wait for the stars to align to get it done, just do it now.
"Shoot for the stars and Land on the Moon" - Anonymous

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Pay Homage to Paul Baran

20. February 2009 03:43 by Scott in   //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (25)

Pay Homage to the inventor of Packet Switching in which is one of the foundations of the World Wide Web.  Along with Paul Baran, Donald Davies and Leonard Kleinrock they are the inventors of Packet Switching.  The idea and execution of packet switching is what allows the entire internet to exist in side a giant bubble.  The bubble when tested can reroute it self automatically.  Data that gets sent over the internet is not defined by a single line feed.  It is not defined by a single point of entry and exit.  It is not defined by where the phone lines come and go to.  What defines the direct of data is the whole term packet switching. 

Packet switching in its simplest sense is data transfer of small packets of data over the internet or world wide web in which each packet defines its own highway to get to its destination.  The idea behind it was to have multiple routes to send data.  Developed and designed back in the 60's.  It was to allow for communications to be made over phone lines which had a linear track.  If the soviets back in the 60's decided to bomb the United States in a critical area, they would have taken out phone lines and most likely short wave radio.  Therefore leaving parts of the country un attached to the rest of the country.  An idea had to be created which allowed transfer of information other than phone lines and other than single node transports.  The Packet Switching at that time was being invented by Paul Baran and his team. 


World Wide Webs First Server
Photo by raneko

The internet was started by Arpa which is now known as Darpa.  Arpa had the latest and greatest.  There was very little red tape with Arpa and extremely little politics.  If they wanted it, they got it.  Paul was apart of Arpa. 

Al Gore is said to have created the internet which is not entirely false.  He was a leader in providing funding to the world wide web.  If it wasn't for his funding, government funding the WWW wouldn't exist as it does today.  The WWW is still in its infancy but we are further in communication than we would have ever been without it.  So next time you talk to one of your libertarian friends talk about Paul Baran and his creation, but also tell them that if it wasn't for the Government, we wouldn't have the World Wide Web as it is today.

Thank you Paul.  I am able to type in this blog because of what you created.  I am able to make a bit of money on what you helped create.  Silicone Valley is able to exist because of you and your team.  The Global World is able to communicate a bit faster and easier because of what you created.  In the past, it was not done for fame, money or reputation points.  It was done to help the world communicate better, faster and have a more reliable Government.  If you voted for Obama in the past election, thank Paul and his team.  Obama's Presidency would have been very unlikely along with anyone knowing his name if it wasn't for the internet and what Paul helped to create.  The internet is changing the way the government communicates to its citizens.  It is becoming a more transparent system. Instead of worrying about your reputation points or money, why not focus a little more on your community because if it wasn't for the community Paul Baran might have not created Packet Switching.

 


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Elements of a Sustainable Company

6. February 2009 03:25 by Scott in   //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (7)

At Start Up School 08, Greg McAdoo spoke about some different ideas on how to get your start up out the door fast.  And what elements you will need for a Sustainable Company. The key points are his, but I try to explain it better.

  • Clarity of Purpose - One must know what your trying to achieve in order to achieve it.  Get some goals in place.
  • Spectacular Market - Once must have a very good market in which to enter. The video market is just now catching on with YouTube, there can be more competitors if it grew large enough and was able to turn it around.
  • Alleviate Customer Pain - Make sure you have something that people want or have been dieing for.
  • Team DNA - You must have the ability to work together with your company.
  • Incredible Product Focus - You must have one or two solid products before you decide to expand.  Make sure the customer is happy with your product.
  • Real Operating Margins - Someone help me out here.  Still trying to decipher what he is saying.
  • Frugality - Spend less, develop more!
  • Inferno with a single Match - Light a fire and make your one product sell like mad!

I hope these points helped, because they are incredibly valuable.


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