Experience report: Naming my company!

Ten months after incorporation, I’ve finally come up with a name for my company. I wanted to combine the different aspects that resonated with me and with other people during conversations and events. Consulting was easy to do under my own name and with a numbered company, but if I want to expand to channel opportunities to other people, it would be interesting to see if I can build something bigger than myself. One of my favourite words for describing what I’m working on is Experiment. I like it because it combines openness and deliberate exploration, where even the challenges are opportunities to learn. Because this is an experiment, I don’t have to over-commit to a single option. I can try something and see what happens. For this next experiment beyond consulting, I’m thinking of building a business around visual summaries and sketchnotes. The visual aspect of it is fascinating. Somehow these sketchnotes are more engaging than blog posts or talk videos. I think it would be wonderful to see where this goes. I’ve been collecting different name ideas. Straightforward names like Visualize Business? Something punny, like Sketchup & Relish (turns out there are a few groups by that name)? Visualisto (playing on “alisto”)? Visualysis, referring to analysis? I looked up Latin roots and played around with prefixes. After turning over all sorts of names in my head, I started playing with this one on Tuesday night: Experivis.

Why Experivis?

I like the way this made-up word lends itself to multiple explanations. Experience –> Visuals is the one that’s the most relevant to this next experiment. Experi- also evokes experiment, and combined with vis-, it’s kinda like saying, “Let’s try things and see.” It’s abstract enough so that I can use it for other ideas, too. (W- said, “It sounds like a drug name!” I said, “Maybe people will think of experts or experience.” He said, “People tend to think of pros instead of experts.” “Provis?” “Now that definitely sounds like a drug.” So Experivis, then.) Okay, now what? I did a quick check to see if the domain name was available, if it was in use on the Web or as a trademark, and if there were any unfortunate meanings or translations. Only two pages of Google results, and no one was using it as an exact word.

Then I slept, because it’s good to give your brain time to play around things like that.

When Wednesday morning came, the name still felt okay. Great! I spent a few hours setting up the domain, registering it as a “Doing Business As” name in Ontario, and putting together a quick website at ExperiVis.com with a custom theme based on Pitch. I disabled the parts I hadn’t built yet, created some pages, imported some content from my main blog, and fiddled with the text. Whee! It’s fun to spin up a website so quickly.

Some next steps

  • Explore logo ideas
  • Draw the value proposition as a sketchnote
  • Add more links
  • Write and organize useful content
Level up!

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