March 08, 2017
A new, affordable naming startup for startups

A few years ago, I launched a daily email newsletter, and I was ecstatic to be striking out on my own for the first time.

Alas, just a few weeks after filing to secure a trademark, an officious-sounding note appeared in my inbox, and soon after, I found myself shelling out $10,000 in lawyer’s fees over a short-lived trademark dispute. It wasn’t nearly as painful as it might have been, but it was a rude realization that figuring out the right brand ...

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December 01, 2017
The Name’s the Thing

So you have an idea for a new business, product, or service. What are you going to call it? As any cash-strapped entrepreneur, product manager, or “creative” will tell you, that decision can be critical when it comes to avoiding expensive legal fees defending against a trademark lawsuit, or spending money on a domain name or logo that turns out to be unusable.

As head of Master-McNeil, a Berkeley-based naming and branding agency behind names like Ariba, PayPal,...

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February 20, 2022
Ambitions and Emotions Run Hot in 'The Founders', a History of PayPal

"We were so pleased to be included in 'The Founders', the new book by Jimi Soni, in which he writes at some length about the Master-McNeil naming process, resulting in our PayPal name." -- SB

Dying is easy; dramatizing the dot-com world is hard. Where is the action in people staring at computer screens, pointing and clicking and typing? Even the costumes, hoodies and such worn by coders, the props of empty pizza boxes and foosball tables and sleeping ...

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