Tech's biggest players: how they got their names

Ever wondered why Google is called Google or how Twitter and Hulu got their names? T3 unveils the stories behind the names of tech's biggest players

From Google to Twitter, it's fair to say that the world of tech is overrun with some of the most ambiguous company names. Most sound as if they had been gurgled by a nursery full of children, while others are too random to even describe.

Exploring the humble beginnings of some of tech's biggest names, we reveal their source of inspiration and discover if there's a little more method behind the naming madness than meets the eye.

 

1/ Adobe

The source for cropping your pics and getting a little creative with the airbrush, the name Adobe originates from the name of the river Adobe Creek, in California, that ran behind the house of American computer scientist and co-founder of Adobe Systems Inc, John Warnock.

 

2/ Amazon

Before Amazon, it was Cadabra.com, but having taken inspiration from the world's most voluminous river, founder Jeff Bezos renamed the company to tie in with the idea that online sales were the future of shopping - and how right he came to be!

 

3/ Asus

Etched into their growing family of netbooks, Greek mythology is the source of the now iconic name in computing. The name 'Pegasus' was initially suggested, but after finding that the name would likely feature quite low on computer directories, the company decided to drop the first three letters, which left the name 'Asus'.

 

4/ BlackBerry

Popular with white collar professionals and instant messaging addicts, we wondering whether slick city BlackBerry owners would even consider bigging up their handheld saviour if it was called LeapFrog?

Believe it or not, this was just one of the handful of names considered for the slick business handset operator, along with 'SrawBerry' due to the keys bearing resemblance to seeds. Thankfully the company decided to go with 'BlackBerry' - in reference to the black colour of the device - that would become synonomous with executives across the land.

 

5/ Bluetooth

Developed to unite all your communications tech with one simple device and to enable all of us to walk around like we're talking to ourselves, the name Bluetooth was inspired by Danish King Harald Blatand who fought to unite Norway, Sweden and Denmark back in the 10th Century. His surname translated into English means 'Bluetooth'.

 

6/ Digg

Having originally played with the idea of 'Diggnation', founder Kevin Rose chose the name 'Digg', relating to the fact that users could dig stories. The extra 'g' was added because dig.com was already registered. The name 'Diggnation' did not go wasted however, having been adopted some time later as the name of Kevin Rose and Alex Albrect's weekly podcast which discusses the best stories from Digg.

 

7/ eBay

The online auction site's creator Pierre Omidyar was sold on the now iconic name after forming a web consulting concern called Echo Bay Technology Group. A gold mining company had already secured rights to EchoBay.com so he went for the next best thing - eBay.com

 

8/ Firefox

Mozilla's browser was initially known as Firebird, but because another open-source program held the same name, they went with Firefox instead, and the name now adorns all PCs that have wised-up to their more effective browsing prowess.

 

9/ Fuji

The camera giants whose origins go back to the Nakajama Aircraft Company (a leader in the aircraft manufacture for Japanese military during World War II), Fuji adopted the name after Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan.

 

10/ Google

Without it, searching for the name of 'that' guy in 'that' film, would be a much harder place to live in. What started as a boast about the wealth of information the search engine could consume, the original name 'Googol' - a word for the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros - was the name founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page chose.

When they presented their project to an investor, they got in return a cheque made out to 'Google'. We assume they didn't kick up a fuss owing to what was likely to have been an attractive figure written on the small piece of paper.

 

 

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