Forming a legal entity (part 3): Choosing your company name

Before I could get started with the lawyers in forming my company, I needed to know what name to put on the form. Following the example of several startups I’ve previously been in, I decided to choose a different name for the company and the product. This is very convenient for several reasons:

  1. The product name is really important for marketing, while the company name doesn’t have to be.
  2. If the first product idea washes out, I may want to change the product name.
  3. There are lots of good company names which would suck as product names, so making them different gives me more options to choose from.

I wanted the company name to reflect that it was a technology company, but also reflect the personality I brought to it. In particular, I wanted it to reflect the passion I have for the craft of making software, and my own low-key, quiet nature. It turned out to be really easy. Sitting in my office (i.e., lab) at home, I looked out the window into the beautiful redwood forest which surrounds it. Redwood Labs. Done.

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