Choosing an Exceptional Domain Name for Your Startup: Five Tested Stepsby@jonromero

Choosing an Exceptional Domain Name for Your Startup: Five Tested Steps

by Jon VOctober 16th, 2023
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Five steps to get an amazing domain name for your Startup as an indie developer: 1/ Don't pay for a premium domain 2/ Choose a positive vibe 3/ Don't pick something boring or "heavy" 4/ NO PUNS 5/ Think how the name can help your marketing
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Do you know what takes the most time when building a Startup? Finding the freaking name and an available domain.

A year ago, I hired some amazing designers and engineers and we brainstormed around a financial product with the code name HelloFire. Fire stands for Financial Independence - Retire Early.

I loved that name and I even got the domain - the .com was crazy expensive and I'll never pay tons of money for a domain.

But the story doesn't end here.

I got distracted by another project of mine OMGDrops - (come on, admit it, it is a great name) and I paused HelloFire.

OMGDrops got acquired after 15 months (based on the last git commit), I decided to continue playing around with HelloFire but it seems I never renewed my domain. That means that now, I have to find a new name - and to tell you the truth, HelloFire wasn't very descriptive of what I was building.

Five Steps for Picking a Great Domain Name

Here are the steps I always follow when I am picking a new name for a product and domain (name reveal in the end!):

  1. I will never pay a premium for a domain. I will add some words like "hello, hq, awesome" etc. Example:

  2. I am a positive person (check my YouTube to see for yourself) and I always try to make my products positive and fun.

  3. The more serious the sector, the funnier the name I pick. This is a double-edged sword of course but I love marketing that is contrarian and I hate boring products.

  4. Do not pick a "smart" name that relies on a pun. My first company (that got acquired by Splunk) was first called Sfalma (DO NOT ASK WHY OR WHAT IT MEANS) and we rebranded it to BugSense (we were an error reporting product).

  5. Make marketing's life easier by picking a name that could create a lot of interesting scenarios.

Maybe all these instructions seem too generic so below is my thought process when I try to find a new product name.

Finding a new domain name

Any domains that contain the word invest, are immediately disqualified. Same with the following:

  • Wealth
  • Portfolio

All of them are too boring.

To get some inspiration, I started looking at titles of famous investment books. Example:

I could play around with intelligent but it is a very long word. Let's find synonyms online!

Wise and whiz draw my attention but wise is a bit tame and whiz I don't like the z in the end. But I like the vibe. I decide to follow Whiz and I end with:

  • wonder
  • star

There are a lot of products with Wonder in their name so I decided to research Star a bit more.

Star has some color in it and some movement and it is a bit playful. Let's save it for now and head back to looking at book titles.

I like where this is going. It is descriptive and most of our audience has heard about it. By the way, your domain name doesn't have to be exactly the name of your product! While I kept looking around books, I saw this and it took me in a different direction.

Your product name and especially your domain has to evoke something about your brand. In my case, I am building a product that helps people create wealth by following strategies that are suited to their case.

I remember also another book from the same author: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants which is even close to the vibe I like. My product has a lot of community involved so misfits, underdogs are not bad ideas.

But, I want to remove a little bit of the anger that these words carry. Let's save outliers and misfits and keep looking for inspiration in book titles.

Now that we have some ideas, let's try to imagine our product as a person.

Customer persona

My ideal customer is someone that cares a lot about their financials and they are always on the lookout for new opportunities to build wealth. They might have gotten burnt in the past by listening to people who have NO idea what are they talking about (hint: people with money usually don't know how to manage their wealth) and they hope that they can add a little bit of data in their decisions. They are explorers. They are hustlers. Builders.

The full product is going to cost $499 per year (accurate price pending) so I assume that my customers have a considerable amount in investable assets.

Expanding the search

I am stuck and I decided to expand my search to memes - taking it even further from how traditional financial products approach their audience.

I google: money memes and some golden results come up:

  • Fuck you money (a saying from the FIRE community)
  • Show me the money
  • Make it rain

Memes are a great part of my growth strategy and it fits in my customer persona.

Ok, ShowMeTheMoney is a fantastic domain but not available. What if we change it to Show me YOUR money?


The following domains are available:


I like it. It is playful (show me your money) and people get that it is about a wealth-tracking app.

Now the question is to use the .app as the main domain or the .co? What do you think?

If you want to read more about how I am building HelloFire (oh sorry) ShowMeYourMoney then follow my devlog!

PS: A lot of my process comes from the amazing book Hello, My Name Is Awesome. Check it out

Also published here.