Your impressions please on a product name:

They said naming is the hardest part of product development, and we’ve certainly found that to be the case.

Our current leading candidate name is “” and we find that people here in NZ tend to either like it or hate it. Without giving away any information on why the haters hate it (don’t want to influence any opinions from this group), can you give me your first impression of the name? What does it make you think of? Our market space is PFM, Personal Financial Management.



Just my 2 cents, but I’ve found the whole “find a good name” overrated. You can spend hours/weeks/months on this, and it doesn’t add to the bottom line at all. No paying customer goes “Hmm, I don’t like the name, so I won’t use the service, even though it’ll help me.” That time could have been better spent hunting for new customers.

And if you ask hobbyists/amateurs for their opinions, of course they’ll give it to you. Question is: How useful are their opinions?

Honest answer:

sproutly => sprouts => flatulence

(in the UK ‘brussel sprouts’ are a vegetable like a tiny cabbage, hated by children and famous mainly for causing wind)

So that gives it some comedy value. Not sure if that is what you want. Are you aiming it at people in NZ or worldwide?

people here in NZ tend to either like it or hate it

That is preferable to everyone thinking “meh”.

Naming is hard!

‘Sproutly’ makes me think of the early stages of growing something. Also has connotations of nature / agriculture. On the serious-fun scale, I’d say it’s slightly more towards the fun side.

Tangentially, thinking about the meta-problem of naming, a website to get feedback on potential business names could be a cool side project idea, just brainstorming:

  • Enter a name
  • Get real time feedback:
    • domain name availability
    • top search results (perhaps segmented by country)
    • top image search results
  • Non real-time crowd-sourced feedback:
    • Structured classification e.g. - serious / fun
    • Free-form associations
    • Can people spell it after hearing it pronounced?
    • Can people pronounce it correctly after reading it?
    • Is it memorable? - Can people remember the name a minute after seeing it for the first time?
    • Could segment by demographic - country / age / job / etc.

Something like may well exist but a minute of googling didn’t return anything obvious. Does anyone know of something like this? Does it sound useful?


I agree with @steveridout on the name. It’s on the fun/playful side, more personal than corporate, and it connotes the beginning of something. If that’s what you’re aiming for, I think it sounds good.

On another note, and I think this is more of an issue once you’ve got some early adopters, is that different audiences will react differently to domains. So if you’re targeting developers or startup folks, .io is great and you could stick with that for a while. I’m not sure who your customer base would consist of, but I’d think non-technical general population consumers and financial types would be more wary of a .io domain. That’s not to say you shouldn’t start out with that name, since wasting time trying to find the perfect .com is probably not worth it, but you might want to just keep that in mind as you’re doing your branding.

Btw, when I search for “Sproutly” in Google I get a top hit of (I’m sure you’ve already done this!). This is someone’s personal blog, but it looks like it hasn’t been updated in a while (couldn’t find a date, but the last comment on the second article from the top is from years ago).

This might mean you could buy it out from them, and if you’re serious about the name I would reach out to them, explain your situation, and offer a small amount of money for it. I don’t know your financial situation or how much you have to offer, but I’ve bought domains from real (non-domain-squatter) people for around $100-$200 before. If they say yes, then great, you’ve got a .com. If they tell you they are passionate about the name and would never even consider selling it, you might want to think about a different brand name.

Just my 2 cents.

Similarly, in France “prout” is onomatopoeia for “fart”.

Thanks Matt. Yes we’ve been in contact with the owner of He’s not prepared to take the sort of money we can offer him now, but he’s open to another offer when we have “bucketloads of VC cash” (my words =)

Good point. At least we can always pivot into an online fart app.

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I was thinking it is related to the uncontrollable grows in the garden; the growth of a bad type, the one which you gotta get rid of. “Get rid of” is not a good association for a software, I believe.

That’s a gold mine! In a heated argument online one can always provide a link with wording “My opinion on your position is best summarized by this” and the shortened link of course goes to your site. Similar to this (NSFW), but commercial: one fart argument shall cost $1 (in a heat of the argument price sensitivity is zero).

Not trying to pick on you, but maybe a bootstrapping forum isn’t the best place if your roadmap includes VC money?

I like it. My day job is in the retirement industry and there was a stock photo that we use of a small plant sprouting up.

It doesn’t, I was just using that phrase to sound out the owner as to whether he’s completely unwilling to sell under any circumstances, or just didn’t think we would offer enough. Injecting a little bit of humour often helps.

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Ahh, that makes sense. I misunderstood and thought you meant you say that internally, as opposed to saying that to the domain owner. Thanks for setting me straight :smile:


I am from Germany and the name doesn’t mean anything to me. The only thing I would cautious about is naming your business according to some trend. For example it was a trend to name everything with “us”. I think nowadays it is a trend to name everything with a “ly” at the end.
In Germany every service is named “eo”, “ando” or even “24” at the end.

Here is an article by Seth Godin on the topic of naming your business.

It’s reasonably memorable and easy to spell, which I think is perhaps more important than something that’s “cool”. Not getting the .com is kind of a PITA.

I think @steveridout’s answer sums up pretty much everything you need to consider.

My personal opinion is that ly+io at the end sounds like it’s trying too hard to be original. (No offence intended, just giving you some feedback.) I think or would be much cleaner and they are easier to pronounce in my head.

Naming is a design task on its own, I think. Following that train of thought I’d only pick one element of emphasis in a name, just as I would pick only one element of emphasis when choosing a design. So, I’d pick either ly or io, not both.

I wasn’t aware of the fart meaning in the UK :smiley: This is definitely something to consider, if you’re launching worldwide.

I connect “sprout” with something that grows up/develops very quickly, possibly a plant. There is a popular marketing blog called “QuickSprout”.

In any case, the name doesn’t matter, the service does. :slight_smile:

Disclaimer: I’m not a native speaker.

Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion, lots of good things for us to think about.

I think that’s a great side project. Add in the ability to search patent databases in your target market, and it’s something we definitely would have paid for.

From a purely subjective point of view: I really don’t like names that end in “ly”, they just really annoy me. But it’s purely personal preference.

Having vented my personal preference, I would say that using the same naming pattern as several 100 other startups (“ly”) will make it harder for you to stand out. To me all the “—ly” apps blend together in one giant 2013 startup soup.

:smiley: I like your attitude.

I do agree with you, but yes, it’s simply a personal preference. I kind of feel the same way about .io domains.