Wednesday, 14 October 2009

How some Tech Companies Got Their Names


Adobe was named after the Adobe Creek in Los Altos, California, which ran behind the home of cofounder John Warnock.

Apple Computers

The first slogan of this company was "Bite into an Apple", while its more famous slogan is "Think Different". Probably thinking differently, the founder, Steve Jobs, named this company "Apple Computers" while he was driving along with Steve Wozniak between Palo Alto and Los Altos. Jobs and his friends used to work on a community farm cultivating apples while he was working in the Bay Area of San Francisco. Jobs was three months late in filing a name for the business, and he threatened to call his company Apple Computers if his colleagues didn't suggest a better name. As you can guess, they didn't come up with anything better and the rest is history. Other theories are that Jobs wanted his company to feature before Atari in the phone book, while yet another suggestion is that it was a tribute to Apple Records, which was the music label of the Beatles.


Even though its current headquarters is in San Jose, California, this company was founded in San Francisco, California in 1984 and took the last five letters of the name of this city for the company name. This is the reason why the company's engineers insisted on using the name in lower case as "cisco" previously rather than "Cisco" as it is now known. The company logo also has the stylized Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco.


The name of this company started as a jockey boast about the amount of information the search-engine would be able to search. The word "Google" is a misspelling of the word "Googol", which means a number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros. After founders - Stanford graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page presented their project to an angel investor and received a cheque made out to "Google". The search engine of this company was originally nicknamed "BackRub" because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site and rank it in the search.


HP or Hewlett-Packard got its name from the founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, but the story of its name is nonetheless interesting. Hewlett and Packard could not agree as to whether the company should be named Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett, so they decided to resolve the matter by tossing a coin. Packard won the toss and decided to name it Hewlett-Packard Company in 1939.


The founder of this company, Jack Smith, came up with the idea of accessing email via the web from a computer anywhere in the world without having the prevailing restrictive system of having to use the email server provided by the ISP. When the other founder, Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending with 'mail', and finally settled for Hotmail, as it included the letters "HTML", which is Hyper Text Markup Language - the programming language used to write web pages. Launched on July 4, 1996, it was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing.


At its inception, founders Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore wanted to name their new company "Moore Noyce" but discovered that this name was already trademarked by a hotel chain. Also, they felt that it didn't sound nice as the pronunciation was eerily similar to 'more noise', which is not suitable for a semiconductor company. They used the name NM Electronics for the first year before arriving at Intel, which is the acronym of INTegrated Electronics and that is how the company has been known since.


Founder, Mitch Kapor, christened this company as Lotus, inspired by the "padmasana" or the yoga asana with a lotus position. The roots to this choice of name could be the fact that Kapor used to be a teacher of Transcendental Meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.