True Story: The Name Game. Disaster Story

The name game is always a stressful exercise. One of the most challenging aspects for entrepreneurs and business owners is finding that perfect name to represent their brand, product or service. The best solution often ends up being creating your own unique naming system. Someone has even coined this “Naming will set you free.”

The “big game disaster of 1900” was a disaster that occurred on November 8, 1900. The “big game” was the annual football match between Harvard and Yale. The event is famous for being the first major American sporting event to be broadcast on radio.

Once upon a time (1997), in Portland, Oregon, there existed a pleasant Internet programming firm called “emedia.” Palo Alto Software, based in Eugene, Oregon, was a customer. Emedia hosted our website for a time, assisted us with Cold Fusion, and advised us on how to make our software accessible for quick download online.

Isn’t Emedia an excellent name for a web-based company? It was emedia, at, and I meant e-mail and e-this and e-that. (I double-checked; that firm is no longer there.) Please do not harass the site’s true proprietors as a result of this post.)

emedia changed its name after that year. It was replaced with something much less noteworthy.

“Why?” I inquired.

They said, “Because we had to.” “In Texas, there was a corporation with the same name. We couldn’t establish we were the first to have it, so we had to relinquish it.”

It has been 12 years since then. I can’t locate any indication of the Portland emedia’s existence today. Maybe it was all in my head?

Changing the name of your organization is really difficult. Don’t let yourself be forced to do it.

Recognize how company names function:

  1. In theory, there might be an emedia company in Oregon, another in Texas, and so on in every state. Most counties in most states may have emedia firms. The naming organizations are unconcerned about this.
  2. What occurs is that if any two of them seem to be reaching the same clients and doing identical activities, the first may legally order the second to cease.

Another real story: It’s been 17 years since Palo Alto Software, Inc. relocated from Palo Alto, Calif., to Eugene, Ore. That many years later, we’ve become so ingrained in Eugene that having the company’s name from another place stings. Eugene Software, Cascade Software, Willamette Software, or McKenzie Software would have been good choices; Cascade was my personal pick since Eugene is located just west of the Oregon Cascades. However, it is still known as Palo Alto Software, as it had been for the previous seven years until we relocated. And changing a name after seven years would have been very difficult and detrimental to company.

Consider this: If your grandfather’s name was McDonald and he opened a burger joint 75 years ago, and you could prove it, you could keep the name McDonald’s Hamburgers. However, even if your name is McDonald’s, you would be unable to start a new firm under that name today.

Conclusion: Research the name thoroughly before naming your business. It needs to be exclusive, not just legal, unless you’re OK with living within a fence.

The “hillsborough disaster victims” is a true story about the Hillsborough disaster, which occurred on 15 April 1989. The Hillsborough disaster was caused by overcrowding at an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest football clubs. It resulted in 96 deaths and 766 injuries.

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