NameThis.com Rescues the Uncreative

hello-my-name-is-badge.jpgEarlier this afternoon, we spoke with wonderboy Ben Kaufman, the brains behind the community-focused company Kluster. He told us that the company will be launching NameThis.com, an idea he had four days ago, in roughly two weeks.

“Whether it’s a band, a product or a company, people have trouble naming stuff,” he said. NameThis.com charges a $100 flat-fee ($80 of which is given to the community) and 48 hours later, you get the group’s top three choices.

This business plan strikes us as both brilliant and dangerous. While we’ve spent more time than we care to admit thinking of names for various ventures — often at the expense of the ideas themselves — we’d be hard pressed to provide a group of strangers with the level of detail about our brilliant(?) idea they’d need to come up with the perfect name. NameThis could work for a non-secret entity such as a band, but who wants to play in something with a crowd-sourced name? That’s like saying you met your wife at a bar.

But what’s the deal with the Kluster newspaper?


KNewsroom, which publishes a daily edition featuring original content and links, launched eight days ago. Original content pays $150 plus a share of the ad revenue for every article published in the daily edition, while links pay a percentage of ad revenue. Currently, 40-50 percent of the material is original, but Kaufman would like to increase that to 100 percent in part because “we’d be compared to Digg a lot less.”

When we asked about the sustainability of the platform — $150 per article seems like an absurdly high amount — Kaufman said, “We are incredibly transparent. Everyone knows we are spending a lot more than we are making.” In the future, KNewsroom could decrease its payouts. “We will do what it takes to make sure the community is incentivized and we keep things going,” Kaufman explained.

The company, currently backed by Valley Village Ventures, is on the hunt for funding and a CEO. Kaufman acknowledged his passion is not on the business side of things and he’d like a business guy/CEO around. “I don’t know how to raise money,” Kaufman admitted. “All I know how to do is tell a story,” although telling his story helped raise three million so far for Kluster.