Or, rather, our guide to how *not* to choose a name for your startup.
It turns out that choosing a name for your new startup is either dead hard, dead easy, or unfeasibly complicated.
This is especially true when you fall into the trap of overthinking.
We chose the name zing.fit on a sunny walk in Hendon Park, North London.
Startup name generation is hard.
It was a fairly simple exercise in just saying lots and lots of words which sounded fresh and energetic and just short.
After jump, bump, jink, zink we came up with the masterpiece Zing.
Life was sweet. We purchased our domain and created a logo. We were on our way!
In 2017 we heard about zingfit, a US gym management company. Seemingly to have come from nowhere with a very similar name.
Shocked, we ploughed on regardless with a sense of denial and it was only last year when speaking with our IP agency when the ball-dropped. Zing got scrapped! We needed a new name, stat.
Fettle was actually amongst one of the earlier suggestions to spring up. It came, was seen, and disappeared along with dozens of other candidates. It fell just short of that pleasant early period of "just going with it" and so we failed to do what we should have done and just stopped there.
Oh, look! It's a startup-flavoured, existential hell-scape!
However, what followed was an existential hell-scape. It was full of old dictionaries, terrible name-generating algorithms, bird books... Oh! And pages upon pages of scrap paper on every surface of the office.
It is absolutely possible to over-think something. Some of the company names I had down hardly qualify as language when I look back on them.
At one point I was looking at the made up words of my ancestor, the crackpot Sir Thomas Urquhart.
A man who came up with quite a few original and unique words. However exergastic was not one of them.
The journey from instant inspiration to overthinking is a strange one. Once you get to a certain point, absolutely nothing sounds good. All the criteria you start to define expands to such a point where it cannot possibly be satisfied in its entirety. Its a bad place to be.
A traumatised conclusion.
How did we return to Fettle? Our branding agency suggested Fettle again, and you know what? It sounded damned good when someone else suggested it.
Frankly, it had always sounded good!
Our advice to other startups picking a company name, just go for a walk, think of a few suggestions along the way, and decide something before you get back.
Then, for goodness sake, stick with it.