My Terrible Name Choices, or, Why Naming Doesn’t Matter

Have you ever gotten stuck coming up with a name?

Naming a business or a product is fun – too much fun in most cases. So much fun that I spent days mulling over a potential name for a product I hadn’t launched yet.

When I started my business, I didn’t know what I was doing yet – all I knew was that I was going to be freelancing. Having no clue about the future of your business can make naming really hard or really easy.

Really hard because, if you try to predict what you’ll be doing, you can box yourself in. Think “WordPress plugin Experts” or “Advanced Rails Development”.

Or, really easy because you can pick a generic name and just roll with it.

I went the really easy route. I was living in a barn at the time. I was a goofy programmer guy without a clue what direction I would take. “Over the Barn” summed me up pretty well, and I was off coding plugins above some sheep.


Take note: You can’t pick a much worse name for a software company than “Over the Barn”, but that hasn’t prevented me from doubling my business year-over-year. Names really don’t matter when you start out.

Since Over the Barn kicked off, my business has changed. I’ve changed. I’m more focused, more efficient, and better at what I do. I know which direction I want to take my company.

Most importantly, I know what my professional personality is: I’m a friendly, upbeat and business-focused guide to web development.

Thus the name change: Over the Barn has been retired, and I’m now operating under Certainly Software. It’s a little goofy, quite friendly, and very positive.

Maybe it will change some day. For now, it fits me nicely.

If you’re wondering what you should name your company or product, don’t worry too much about it. You can change it later, when you have clarity on your direction.

Freelancer? Me too!

I made lots of mistakes growing my business. Maybe I can help you avoid those mistakes?

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