– $99 for a name and a laugh

Posted by Alexandra Watkins on July 1, 2008

The aptly named company Kluster FKC is using trying to use crowdsourcing (and $1 million) to name companies via their second venture, (their first crowdsourcing venture, Knewsroom went kaput in 37 days…ouch). Namethis-logo

For $99, claims to give you three world-validated names for your thingamajig in 48 hours.

We had no idea that “world-validated” was an euphemism for “really awful names in any language even if it isn’t a real word, means anything or is even pronounceable”. Here are some of the “winning” world-validated names created so far:

  • Eaternet – first wireless pay-at-the table entertainment device
  • Magnapeutic – therapeutic magnet patches
  • iChews – individualized cereal in the mail
  • Vestisa – investment management company for the people
  • Encompa – online strategy/consulting firm
  • Beauternity – beauty and anti-aging website
  • el-goog – reversed web searching
  • G.E.C. (Global.Energy.Climate) – climate change charity

We don’t want to live in a world where a word like Beauternity is validated.

While we will acknowledge that $99 is a bargain compared with what you might pay elsewhere for similar names, there are several issues.

  1. The names suck.
  2. They have given no legal consideration (see el-goog above who will have Google sending one of their friendly cease and desist orders around five seconds after their website goes live).
  3. Anyone can just go on the website and snatch names for free. Why they would is a different issue.
  4. The names suck.
  5. makes about $20/name (after paying the crowdsourcers or is it crowdsourcee?). Accordingly, the volume would have to be huge to make any real money for their investors, which seems unlikely.
  6. Our friends at Wordlab already have a website doing essentially the same thing for free.
  7. Did we mention the names suck?
  8. Every name fails the SMILE & SCRATCH Test.

We don’t know if crowdsourcing in general can be successfully monetized over the long run, but we will be very surprised if survives. BTW, their 37th day is July 13.

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