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How I started building Namler
Like many of us, it all began with an honest desire to make something of my life… to do something just a little less ordinary 🧐
I didn’t know yet what I was going to build, but I knew I wanted to make something which could have the potential to really help people in their professional and business lives.
Going back as far as I can remember, I always had a passion for the web. I found it amazing (and still do) when you think of all the crazy ways in which it has transformed our little planet.
From such breakthroughs as, providing unlimited knowledge to some of the most remote places on Earth (thanks Google), to transforming every industry across the business spectrum (from communication to transportation, and back again) with tools like WhatsApp and Dropbox, the web has undeniably changed our world for the better.
I asked myself “what is a common theme to all these businesses, and any new ones coming online?”
I wanted to get right at the heart of something which affects us all. The problem should be so widespread that it seems laughable that we haven’t fully solved it yet. It should also compound — getting harder (and harder) as more businesses come online…. and the only problem which stood out of this description was naming. Business naming, product naming and brand naming affects every business, new or old, and gets to the very heart of how our internet hangs together (using the system called DNS which links website names to their real addresses, which are in fact numbers. What we need, is a household name which is known to solve this well. We need an Airbnb for naming.
The first time I experienced “the problem”
The first time I experienced this particular pain, it was the year 2003, and I was working on a side project. I was buying my first domain name and I had such high hopes for this little domain (which was an early MetaSearch Engine called STORM Surfer!). But even way back then, to find a good domain name was an incredibly difficult and a fraught process, due in part to all the squatters. You often had to search literally all night long to get an acceptable name, only to discover there was already a trademark or protection covering it!
Back in 2003, do you know what happened during my very first domain purchase? Right as I was buying, naivety kicked in big-time…and I only purchased the .CO.UK domain (not the dot-com) thinking I’d start there and get the other one soon! But on realising my error, when I came back to get the .COM it was already gone!! I was like 😲
Classic mistake, and one which I hope you are able to avoid.
The frustration of naming can be unreal
Because for many of us, what we are building is in effect our life’s work. Take my first mistake, for example, it was only really a night’s work lost… however many entrepreneurs stand-fast by their name choice even if they can’t get the dot-com, and don’t change or move on (instead appending something to the name, like “my” or “app”). Fast forward on a few years and I would soon find out with every subsequent project — this is an extremely common problem!
It’s a problem familiar to almost everyone naming a project for anything involving the internet (which let’s face it, these days most things do). It turns out naming is super-hard, and though there are some good tools for it out there, it is a problem affecting the masses which lies largely unsolved.
What I decided to do about it
On my bazillionth time experiencing this problem, it was clear I had to do something about it. For my own sanity if nothing else. With some estimates showing there are 540,000 new business owners each month who are launching their start-up ventures, and an ever decreasing number of available names in the dot-com space, this problem is only getting worse. And now there are more than 1,000 top-level domains like .SHOP, .WORK, and .NEWS we definitely need a workspace for naming and name discovery that ties everything together (and keeps you safe from people watching your searches).
But there are 101 “business name generators” out there… what makes this better?
Yes, there are, and I thought long and hard before working on this. The thing is, on surveying the market, and finding a healthy amount of competition, what I found was truly enlightening. There are tons of great tools, but if this is the case why are people continuously searching for new ones, and why are entrepreneurs everywhere still struggling with this? What is lacking from all of these?
Let’s build something transformational
There needed to be a new approach. Not just another so called “business name generator” or cookie cutter domain name generator like you see everywhere.
What you need is an all-in-one workspace, with everything from instant domain search, to company search, social media scanning, whois checking, and everything you need built-in, all with cutting edge realtime sync so finding (potentially valuable) names of the future is easy. We need a tool that doesn’t aim to replace branding experts, but compliment them and turbo charge their efforts. We need a naming tool for the people.
I have taken my 15 years experience building little “things” online and bashed at my keyboard till my fingers bleed. I’ve pulled countless all-nighters and I’m still going… I’m going to keep evolving this into the defacto place for Name Brainstorming.
And I’d really love it if you’d come along for the ride, give it a go and see how many great domains you can find in minutes!