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Naming Your Business: Lessons Learned the Hard Way

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If you’re launching a new venture, there’s already enough pressure.

The reality is that most businesses end as failures, and early decisions are extremely critical. While it’s tempting to downplay the importance of coming up with a business name, the fact is that the first impression made on customers and suppliers has a massive bearing on the success of your enterprise.

Ideally, a business name needs to be short and memorable – but it also needs to stand the test of time, while not limiting future expansion opportunities.

Business Names 101

Today’s infographic comes from The Business Backer and it provides points to consider when naming a new business.

Importantly, famous examples of mistakes made by well-known companies are also provided for reference.

Naming Your Business: Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Of course, this is just a set of guidelines, and rules can certainly be broken under the right circumstances.

However, it’s important to at least keep these guidelines in consideration, otherwise you may end up with a brand that means something quite atrocious in a foreign language!

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Here are some naming fails orchestrated by major companies, and how they got fixed:

AOL
Originally named Quantum Computer Services back in 1985, the name was far too long and confusing. It was eventually simplified to America Online in 1989, and finally AOL later on.

Amazon
The first name used for what is now the centerpiece of the Jeff Bezos Empire was actually Cadabra. However, it turned out that over the phone most people heard “Cadaver”, and so it was eventually tossed.

Sony
Sony was originally named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, which translates to Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation. It turned out to be quite a tongue-twister, so the company came up with a much simpler name.

Hertz
Hertz, the car rental company, was originally named “DrivUrSelf”, which wasn’t easy to spell for anyone.

Yahoo!
Yahoo! used to be known as “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web”, which is long, hard to remember, and too different from other web portal or search engine names. Fortunately, Jerry Yang and David Filo changed the name of the company and also bought the yahoo.com domain name in 1995.

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Markets

Ranked: The Most Valuable Housing Markets in America

The U.S. residential real estate market is worth a staggering $47.5 trillion. Here are the most valuable housing markets in the country.

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This bar graph shows the most valuable residential real estate markets in America.

The Most Valuable Housing Markets in America

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

The residential real estate market in the U.S. stands as one of the largest asset classes in the country, worth $47.5 trillion in 2023.

Despite a slowdown in home sales, the total value of homes increased $2.4 trillion last year as low inventory levels pushed up prices. Affordable metropolitan areas saw steady price growth, while expensive metros experienced slower price appreciation.

This graphic shows America’s most valuable housing markets, using data from Redfin.

Top U.S. Residential Real Estate Markets

To calculate the largest U.S. housing markets, Redfin analyzed 90 million properties covering single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and two-to four-unit multifamily properties.

Below, we show the most valuable residential markets as of December 2023:

RankU.S. Metro Total Value of HomesTotal Value of Homes
YoY Change
1New York, NY$2.4T-1.0%
2Los Angeles, CA$2.1T+4.3%
3Atlanta, GA$1.2T+6.2%
4Boston, MA$1.2T+8.3%
5Anaheim, CA$1.1T+8.0%
6Washington, DC$1.0T+6.2%
7Chicago, IL$991B+7.4%
8San Diego, CA$988B+9.4%
9Phoenix, AZ$987B+4.2%
10Seattle, WA$911B+4.6%

With a housing market worth $2.4 trillion, New York, NY tops the list.

Unlike the majority of large U.S. cities, the aggregate value of homes declined as buyers became increasingly priced out of the market. At the same time, homeowners hesitated to sell in order to lock in low mortgage rates. In fact, more than 80% of mortgage holders in New York City have interest rates that are 5% or lower.

Los Angeles, CA falls in second, with a residential real estate market worth $2.0 trillion. Last year, existing home sales tumbled 24.8%, falling to the lowest point since 2007. However, the housing shortage led prices to increase amid high demand. The median sale price climbed to $975,000 in February 2024, a 5.9% jump compared to the same time last year.

Atlanta, GA ranks third and is the most overpriced housing market in the country according to one countrywide analysis. Homes have been selling for 41.7% more than their worth as of the February 2024 data update.

People are flocking to the city for many reasons. General housing affordability is a major driver, along with its thriving tech center. Along with this, state tax credits have increasingly made it a hub for the TV and film industries, earning it the moniker “Y’allywood”. Another factor in Atlanta’s inflating housing market are large investment firms, which own a huge footprint of homes in the city.

Editor’s note: For those wondering about the Bay Area, the data groups cities like San Francisco ($657 billion), San Jose ($821 billion), and Oakland ($881 billion) as individual entities, which puts them outside the cutoff. See the Redfin data for the full list of cities.

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