I Take the 30-Minute “Innovation” Naming Challenge

I’m not just a namer. I’m a naming junkie. Maybe all namers are. Regardless, I simply can’t stay away from name-related preoccupations even in my free time. When I come across a person with an unusual first name, I look it up. When I hear a fresh pun or turn of phrase, I note it down. On those infrequent occasions when I play Scrabble, I do the same for any catchy word-like constructions that might pop up on my rack. Really, the prompts are everywhere.

Often I’ll follow up by logging in to to see if I might’ve stumbled across a URL I can register.  Most of the time, of course, the answer is no. Somebody has beaten me to it, usually by a matter of years but sometimes by a matter of only weeks or days.

At that point, I could leave off, but I almost never do. Like nickels in a one-armed bandit, queries are simply too easy to keep plugging in. Usually these queries remain variations of the name-like object  that sent me to the registry in the first place. But often enough they devolve along tangents—like any good internet rathole. To limit this kind of idleness, I’ll usually allow myself a single .com URL hit. I’ll register it for a year and be on my way.

These tendencies ultimately lead to what I call The 30-Minute “Innovation” Naming Challenge.

“Innovation:” A Played Out Naming Vein?

How exhausted are the naming possibilities around “innovation,” anyway? Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I heard from an old friend at a company called Inotiv. I remember thinking at the time, “Wow, companies will do anything to land on a name that cues ‘innovation.'”  The demand is incessant, unabating. I remember how challenging it was to come up with an innovation related name as far back as 2002, when a client wanted an “innovation” inspired name for a new kind of biofuel and we ultimately landed on Novvi. From a naming standpoint, the word “innovation” itself is a played out vein, and has been for some time.

Or is it?

The Challenge Begins

On a whim, I decide to perform the naming equivalent of sifting through mine tailings: I give myself 30 minutes on to see if I can come up with any reasonably compelling available .coms loosely that use “innovation” as their root term. Will I come up empty-handed? Or might I still find a stray .com that has somehow escaped consideration. Ready to create a battery of new words using whatever torqued spellings I might devise, combined with whatever  suffixes I might weld onto some piece of the “innovation” root, I set out.

The 30 minutes is up, the results are in. As expected, for the most part I come up empthy-handed: Innovatr, Innovistics, Innovix. Inovix. Innovatory. Innovantage. Inovantage. Innovatir. Innovatar. Inovatar. Inovent. Innovient. Inovient. Innovantic. Innovatic. Innovantive. Innovactive. Innoventiv. Innoventive. Inoventiv. Inoventive. Innovista. Inovista. Nanovation. Neonovation. Synovation. Innoviant. Inoviant. Inovant. Innovience. Innovance. Innovence. Innoviance. Innovotion. Innomation. Novaflex. Novaforce. Novaform. Innvation. Innoventure. Innoflection. Innosation. Innovato. Innovature. Innovox. Inovox. Innovian. Innovion. Innovara. Innovarent. Innovae. Innovai. Innovable. Innovatiant. Innovatience. Innovatris. Innovable. Innovasphere. Innovatium. Innoviction. Innovector. Innovolution. Innovelation. Innovolition. Innovr.  Innovader. Innovaneer. Innovacentric. Novacentric. Ynovate. Knowvation. All claimed—some active, others inactive, some for sale.

The Net-Net

For all that, I land on far more available dotcoms than I thought I might: Inovatr, Innovantir, Innovistix, Inovistics, Innoflexive, Inoviance, Inovience, Innovatrist, Innovarion, Innovalate, Innovalation, Innovanera, Innovatient, Innovatience, Innovatiance.

Are they great real-world name candidates? Not so much. But I don’t believe they’re weaker as a group than what’s already been registered.

Of course, by registering them, I’ve reset the bar for the next name junkie who takes their version of The 30-Minute “Innovation” Naming Challenge. And so it goes for all of us across the nameverse.




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