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So easy, in fact, anyone can do it. (Except that a growing number of the names you generate will already have dibs on them.) First, forget about any symbolic or rational link to the company to be named. That doesn’t matter. What matters is sheer, raw memorability—an iconic pow. This is the most important rule in the exercise. If you can’t do this, you simply can’t have the kind of name that will gain the notice you crave in the brave new world we live in.

Okay, now create two columns. Your name will be the combined result of the lh + rh columns. (Some clever, resourceful people will invert this order in the never-ending pursuit of ownability.)In the lefthand column, list the four Pythagorean elements — air, earth, fire and water. Or, if you prefer, the six elements of the I-Ching: heaven, earth, thunder, water, mountain, wind (or wood), sun (or fire), marsh (or mist).Beneath them, list the names of colors. Give preference to the basic colors of the spectrum. Obscure hues (carmine, sepia) or colors with long, complicated names (viridian, chartreuse), generally don’t work as well.

If you think you might need more options, you can add the names of basic elements (iron, copper, helium) or stones (jade, sapphire, diamond).In the righthand column, list lots of names of animals. Give preference to commonly recognized animals —barnyard animals, the animals of the Chinese zodiac, etc. Add lots of birds and great cats.If you think you might need more options, you can add a second set of names derived from flowers (rose, daisy, orchid) and possibly other plants and trees as long as the words are simple and the species aren’t overly obscure (pine, alder, ash).

Now, get some of those great multi-sided dice that used to be so popular for role-playing games in the pre-computer days — you can still find them at Forbidden Planet in Manhattan, among other places — and randomly generate some candidates. Keep going until you tire, get something that strikes your fancy, or hit upon something still ownable.

  • Lithium Bear
  • Rose Pine
  • Daisy Gray
  • Donkey Neon
  • Earth Rhino
  • Cheetah Green
  • Marsh Monkey
  • Ruby Tulip

Still not ownable enough?

Go to three elements (alternating columns):

Blue Cheetah Green

Add some fun numbers. Only you need to know what they refer to. But some numbers are inherently more pleasing than others. Our faves: 7, 13, 21, 24, 52, 69, 2000 and any numbers that repeat themselves (55, 66, 77, etc.). Don’t forget the the address of the street where your parents lived when you were born or derivatives of your birthday. Remember, good numbers should be easy to say as well as fun to look at!

  • 21 Red Plover
  • Violet Monkey 69

Go have fun! And be a great, visionary entrepreneur, too.

[Apologies to anyone who already owns these names. We didn’t check them. We just generated them at random.]

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