Whats in a name. 10 years of remarkable stories of Travelstart 14/30

Choosing a
name for our business was tricky and it has almost taken us 10 years to get it

I was never
good with names, not to remember them, not to come up with them. I had just come
out of another start up called Mrjet.com. There we created this fictional character
that we borrowed inspiration from 60´s hit series “Mr Jetson.”

I wanted
something exact opposite to the fictional character. I wanted something human. Our
first static webnpage was called ekbergh.com, which was the only human thing I
could come up with really fast. My rationale was. Ok so this is Internet I will
put my own butt on the line to make this work, just like people did in the old
days. And so it was for a couple of months but I never liked it. I was so busy
with everything and never thought about the name until I started to do investor

I sat at
the house of one of the wealthiest people in Sweden doing my power point thing.
He said, “Interesting, so, what’s the name?” I stuttered “er… eh … Ekbergh for
travellers… but, but we are changing that…” He politely threw me out.

Back in the
office I needed to come up with something real quick and browsed through our
domain names. We decided to go for Flygabilligt.se, in English flycheap. This
worked better. But the Swedish word made me sick I needed an English name.

The hosting
company for our webPages and domains went bankrupt at the same time so the
website was shut down. We couldn’t transfer the domains because there was no
one to release them. I had to hunt down the lawyer handling the estate. And
this was in the days when practically no one knew what a domain was. It took a
couple of week to sort it out and it was nerve-racking.

One day a
young student,  Alex Molvin, from
Stockholm School of economics joined us. And it changed everything in the
company. He could see where we needed help and his marketing and
conceptualization skills was just amazing. The first thing he looked at was our
name. After that he came up with a shortlist of 20 names all in five-letter one
syllable type. We couldn’t decide on any until he found out that we had
Travelstart registered. He thougt we should go for that. And we decided to do
so until we came up with something better.


 On Sept 10 1999 a new website was
launched Travelstart.net. We were finally on to something after a somewhat
foggy start. The chequered logo was inspi.jpgred by REM latest album Up! Terrible.

Because we
never owned the .com domain we were forced to start market our name with each
countries own top domains, .SE, .NO, .CO.ZA etc. And in some countries this is
better than using the .com domain.

We knew we
needed the .com domain but it took us 9 years of negotiations. From 2010 all
country specific domains will point to the .com domain and after 10 years we
finally have a common structure on our domains and a great domain to build one
of the top brands in the world of travel.


The faces
we have on our pages today is a reflection of the old idea that we still want
to communicate something human and personal.

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