Photo illustration by Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Rich Barton, the founder of Expedia, Zillow and Glassdoor, explained to Axios why naming your company is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs need to make throughout their careers. Barton shared his advice for the most important things to consider when naming your business.

Why it matters: Naming affects your bottom line. A study by The Society for Personality and Social Psychology shows that companies with names that are simpler to pronounce and easier to remember perform better on Wall Street. Per Barton:

I learned a lot from Expedia, too many syllables. The extra two syllables cost me 1/4 billion in TV dollars to hound it into people's heads.

Here are Rich's suggestions for tactics that work well in naming a successful company:

  1. High-point scrabble letters: "You get more points if you use rare letters," Barton says. "Because we rarely use those letters, when we read, see and say them — they jump out at us. And they stick in our heads."
  2. X's and Z's sounds work well: Expedia and Zillow both follow the X and Z rule.
  3. Two-syllable names: "If you think of the biggest brands in the world, they tend to have fewer syllables," Barton says. Barton notes that he learned this lesson when his son couldn't pronounce the name of his company as a four-year-old.
  4. Homonyms: (Words that mean something prior to the brand's adoption of them, like Apple and Amazon.) Use simple words and create a new meaning for them.
  5. Palindromes and double letters: Some of the world's largest brands use these techniques effectively: Kodak, Xerox and Google, Twitter, Apple, Yahoo, and Zillow
  6. Words you can verb: Words that can easily be turned into verbs, like "Googled" or "Instagrammed."

Go deeper

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 33,138,963 — Total deaths: 998,380 — Total recoveries: 22,953,639Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 7,116,455 — Total deaths: 204,762 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week
  4. Health: The childless vaccine — Why kids get less severe coronavirus infections.
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases
27 mins ago - Technology

Exclusive: Where Trump and Biden stand on tech issues

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photos: Win McNamee and Saul Loeb/AFP

Joe Biden has laid out a more concrete tech agenda whereas President Trump has focused on tax cuts and deregulation while criticizing tech firms for anti-conservative bias. That's according to a side-by-side analysis of the two candidates' tech records by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: The tech industry needs to prepare for either four more years of Trump's impulsive policy approach or for a Biden administration that's likely to be critical of tech but slow to take action.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Big Tech's share of the S&P 500 reached record level in August

Expand chart
Reproduced from The Leuthold Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

The gap between the weighting of the five largest companies in the S&P 500 and the 300 smallest rose to the highest ever at the end of August, according to data from the Leuthold Group.

Why it matters: The concentration of wealth in a few massive U.S. tech companies has reached a scale significantly greater than it was before the dot-com bubble burst.