How & Why of ‘’

As a relatively new web entrepreneur, one question that i get asked a lot – Why … or how … and/or many variations of same question.

Thought would walk through the thought process we had at time of our choosing (good or bad) …

A .com

We were very clear right at the outstart that whatever domain name we choose, it has to be a .com … i always use ctrl + enter and i am sure many more people do so … hence i always ended up typing instead of before I reached the actual site.

Moreover, I have seen a lot of friends assuming by default that the site they are viewing is a .com … so while they would remember ‘your-domain-name’ out of ‘’ they would in all probability type in … instead of whatever it was.

10 dollars or less

If you are rich and have tonnes of money, you may as well spend much more … there is a sprawling domain market where can get you great domain names for millions.

But this was never even a consideration for us … not even a single thought was spared on spending anything more than 10 dollars on domain name … we had limited resources and we would be better off spending them elsewhere.

Easy to pronounce

Ever wondered what makes google or yahoo or ebay sound so good …  may be its because they are  both bisyllables … amazon, orkut are tri syllables but still great domain names … facebook, myspace have four syllables each … add anything more and it becomes almost unpronounceable … try … does that give your tongue some curls …

So our domain had to be limited to two or max three syllables. depending upon which side you stand on …  is either a bi or at max a tri syllable. And whatever is the no of syllables, its easy to pronounce.

Difficult to mistype

Ever noticed how you almost never misspell while typing google or facebook … now try wakoopa … how many times do you mistype that out of 100 times … is it a significant no … most probably yes … why … because its easier to type ‘g’ than it is to type ‘w’ … its easier to type ‘o’ than it is to type ‘p’ … All the letters in google – g,o,l,e or in facebook – f,a,c,e,b,o,k are at relatively easier words to type in a qwerty keyboard. Similarly, all the letters in fachak – f,a,c,h,k are at relatively easy fingertips.

Hard to misspell

If you are a startup, a significant lot of marketing would happen by word of mouth … probably on those water cooler conversations … so try misspell that domain name thats lingering in your mind since last night … is it possible to misspell it … if the answer is yes, be sure a lot of people would do it.

In fact, thats a problem for us too … some users have reported that they  typed in the first time they tried to reach … so thats one thing we need to work on in our communcation …

A positive or no meaning…

If you were lucky, you were yahoo … but that was 1995 … and for rest of us are mere mortals … words with positive association that would still satisfy other guidelines are not so easily available … so go the sony way … coin a word that carries no meaning .. and do a lot of marketing to give it a meaning …

That was the route we followed with Fachak. Although, fachak signifies sound of splash in  native Hindi …. in most other languages its an unknown word.

& finally ‘The Rule’ – No other rule is indispensable

The most important guideline – none of above guidelines is indispensable … if you find a name  that’s great in some areas but lacks in one or two, you may as well go ahead with it … ultimately its your baby … if you feel its right choice, go ahead right away.

In fact, Fachak was not a result of following these guidelines strictly but more a result of  a creative streak inspired by an advertisement in a comic book. We had tried about 500 keywords while searching for available domain names – all the while trying permutations on words with positive meanings – cool, trendy, hip … et al … when I finally found something that was available. When we crosschecked fachak against the guidelines we had formed, it fitted the bill perfectly … or almost perfectly 🙂

Finally, do give your domain name about 3-4 weeks to grow on you, before you finally accept it or reject it … especially with names that carry no meaning at all …

It took my team almost 3 weeks, before all of us really started liking … before that it was yet another idea thrown in by a crazy entrepreneur 😉