The Story Behind the Ning Name
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Ning Logo

We get asked a lot why we called the company Ning. Ning means peace in Chinese. When we heard this, we were pretty darn excited. However, it was after we’d already decided it was the exact right perfect name for us.

Ning was short, sweet, and wouldn’t take away from the main focus of our service: your social networks. As I’ve mentioned before, our service is about you, not us.

You can always use your own domain name for your social network on Ning, but even for our free service we wanted you to have domain names that were easy to remember and emphasized what was unique about your network.

Naming is actually one of the harder jobs for a new company. There’s a fair amount of detective work, research, and luck involved. Plus, everyone inside and outside your team has an opinion which makes the job a bit harder to navigate.

We didn’t use a naming firm and made our ability to get the domain name our top priority upfront. 99% of the time with naming firms there’s a lot of time and effort – and, worst of all, money – that goes into that process and the end result isn’t helpful because it turns out you can’t buy the domain name for the names they recommend.

Especially for a scrappy start-up, it’s better to funnel the money you might spend on a naming firm into your budget for a domain name and the lawyers who can tell you if you can trademark it.

So, that’s our story.

What’s yours? How did you come up with the name for your network or company? Any words of wisdom for new Network Creators or other entrepreneurs?

UPDATE: Logo Orange has a pretty helpful page of branding and corporate identity resources. It’s definitely worth a look.