TechCrunch writes up entrants to the field of crowd-sourced naming firms. The idea as it’s explained is that a company looking for a brand name or whatever will submit a request to the site, and then the wisdom of crowds will spit out a killer name.
The article mentions that TechCrunch submitted a project on their own and was not super impressed with the results. This doesn’t surprise me–thinking a crowd is going to light on a great name for something of your’s is fantasy-land. Crowd-sourcing a name is a loser’s bet.
My view is that getting a killer name is one of the most important things you can do. If you’re a start-up, you don’t have money to burn on marketing. Every opportunity you might have to build and drive value from any source is useful. In this environment, having a great name, an identity that can break-through and stick in the craw of someone is exactly what you need. You won’t get that from a bunch of random folks who don’t know you. If you’re starting a company, this is your responsibility.
The best discussion on how to build a name that goes the distance is courtesy of Igor.com. I’ve written about them before, and their killer discussion guide.
If you need to name something, don’t go the crowd-sourced route–go to Igor.com.
(I have no professional affiliation with Igor.com.)