Getting a decent domain name is one of the most daunting tasks a web start-up faces. In the past few years, the average price of a good domain name has risen dramatically, providing a huge challenge for new companies with limited funding. You can shell out huge money like Foursquare and Del.icio.us did for foursquare.com and delicious.com, respectively, or you can get a bit more creative like Esty and Zynga did.
In a blog post, the venture capitalist Fred Wilson provides some helpful tips on finding the right domain name. He also includes this gem on how Zynga found its name:
I remember walking home one afternoon from the office on the phone with Mark Pincus. He had launched texas hold’em on Facebook operating under the name Presidio Media. We were talking about what he should call the company. He knew it needed to be a consumer brand. He said “Domains are so hard and expensive. I’d like to use a name I already own.” And he preceded to list a bunch of names he owned. He stopped at zynga.com which was his dog’s name. I said “you own the .com of your dog’s name?” He said “of course I do.” I told him I liked the idea of naming the company after his dog and it had the added benefit of being a short and catchy name. He agreed it was a good idea. A few weeks later, after thinking about it some more, running it by a bunch more people, that was the name Mark chose. It is a fantastic name and brand.