I remember when Apple first announced the iPad. The jokes about the name ‘iPad’ went on for weeks, but now nobody gives it a second thought. Words like Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and Intel don’t even faze us. Have you ever wondered how those companies got their names? It was interesting to learn in The Social Network how the name Facebook evolved (assuming that was true). Today I’d like to share the origins of other names of tech companies.
The name Amazon hints at the founders’ vision for the company. They imagined their company becoming huge, like the Amazon River (it’s the second longest river in the world). Often times when the intended names of tech companies are already taken, the founders make small modifications, which make history.
For example, eBay was originally supposed to be the EchoBay Technology Group, but when the founders realized EchoBay was taken, they shortened the name to eBay. Also, when the founders of Flickr realized that flicker.com was already taken, they just dropped the e to make it flickr.
Mashable got its name because the site Pete Cashmore started covered mostly tech mashups in the beginning, so the name Mashable was born. I’ve always wondered how the name Android came about. Andy Rubin, the co-founder and former CEO of Android, loves robots, and the rest is history.
Steve Wozniak talks about how the name Apple was born in the book Apple Confidential 2.0. He said:
He [Jobs] said ‘I’ve got a great name – Apple Computer.’ Maybe he worked in apple trees. I didn’t even ask. Maybe it had some other meaning to him. Maybe the idea just occurred based upon Apple Records. He had been a musical person, like many technical people are. It might have sounded good partly because of that connotation. I thought instantly, ‘We’re going to have problems.’
They tried other names like Executex and Matrix Electronics, but they didn’t like any other name as much as Apple Computers. So, the name was born. You can view a very long list of company name etymologies (not just tech companies) here on Wikipedia. This short list below shows the name origins of some tech companies. I wish I knew who created this list so I could give that person proper credit. If you know, please leave a comment below. Enjoy!
Origins Behind The Names Of Popular Tech Companies
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