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One of the most frustrating things about creating your startup is the naming process. I joke often with friends, "Which came first, the company name or the .com?" I remember sitting at the table with a new client in 1999, she just spent over $10 million on their new product packaging and materials to learn that the .com name was already taken. And getting that name would end up costing her more than she ever expected. With all of my clients that I have worked with from the beginning and in my work at Georgia-Pacific, I have always registered every name we could think of during the product brainstorming. Mere minutes can cost you a good name. And with purchasing names so cheap today, it's easy to buy everything the team thinks of.
I joked at one of the meetups recently that if you remove the E, your chances of a Google buyout jump by 23% whereas removing the O, reduces the buyout to IBM with only a 6% chance.
Paul Graham from Y Combinator says, "One of the hardest problems new startups face is choosing a name. All the good domain names seem to be taken– and not by other companies, but by domain squatters."
A new company, GrabaGoodDomain seeks to help startups and businesses find available domain names for their new product or service. The fee is $100 and they say they will refund your money if you are not satisfied with their recommendations. They use humans to work on finding good and available names. Larger clients with agencies might not find a need for this service, but shoestring, bootstrapped startups should find this service valuable.
My first recommendation would be to create a site outside the standard Drupal template. This will help to increase the trust and reduce the "fly-by-night" thoughts that some marketers might see.
Here is my concern with their service. Unless they sign a contract with strong terms, what would prevent them from registering names that they think of (even outside what they recommend), only to attempt to sell it back to you? I want to be trusting, but domain names can be worth more than the registration fee, so I would just make sure they sign a terms of service agreement before working with them so they are acting on your behalf only and that all discussions are completely confidential.
Updated: The GrabaGoodDomain team replied to my comments on their blog.