Posted 2013-06-17 by & filed under Team Updates.

This is a short candid post about the naming process of Piktochart. I am Ching (co founder) and I’m also a mentor at Founder’s Institute and recently shared a presentation about naming a startup.

“Do’s and Dont’s” with Naming

In my recent presentation in Kuala Lumpur, there were some short notes that I pointed about naming:
  • Maximum of 2 syllables, e.g. bay-leaf
  • Try not to have nonsensical words, e.g. “boodoo”
  • Combine 2 words together to form the best names, e.g. “air” + “bnb” or “drop” + “box”
  • Does not exceed 10 characters in total
  • Exists as a .com

The irony of Piktochart

The funny thing is that Piktochart actually broke 3 out of 5 rules above, i.e.:
  • Maximum of 2 syllables, e.g. ba-be-bi
  • Try not to have nonsensical words, e.g. “boodoo”
  • Combine 2 words together to form the best names, e.g. “air” + “bnb” or “drop” + “box”

Why did We Break Our Own (Naming) Rules?

The answer is not a mystery: It was our first startup and we all got driven to over-drive when it came to excitement- the harder you think about something, the more difficult it is. There are some funny comments that users wrote in regards to the name:
  • “Sounds like a fuzzy ball that came out of Pokemon”
  • “Piktogram, Pictograph, Pick-a-what?”
We came up with a list of about 100 names but rejected most of them because the .com’s were not available. :) When we finally had a “Eureka moment”, it was because Andrea (technical co founder) had an obsession with a “Picross” game on Nintendo DS at that time. It’s a game where you can basically “knock” tiny blocks based on mathematical calculation to come up with a final picture (available in 2D and 3D). We loved the representation of many tiny little blocks coming up to a big final picture, like 1 picture speaks a thousand pixels. From Pictochart, (pick-to-chart), it morphed to piktochart. Piktochart Infographic Picross The funny part is, we found that with all the “mis-spellings” and different formats of Piktochart, the name still manages to stick in the user’s head. (Proof? We looked at Google Insight Trends). What broke 60% of naming rules, actually managed to stick around for time to come.

Have fun naming your startup. We had loads with ours.

About Author

Ai Ching

Ching is the Chief Email Officer and dedicates her time to find growth hacking ninja ways. Former P&G and Experimental Psychologist, Ching’s addiction includes supporting new projects on Kickstarter and travelling.

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