What’s in a name? Quite a lot - especially if you’re a technology company looking to stand out among the crowd.
Sometimes, a name has specific meaning for a company founder or is related to the company’s origins.
Take Apple Lisa, one of the computing giant’s first computers which launched on January 19, 1983. It was not only an acronym for Local Integrated System Architecture but also the name of co-founder Steve Jobs’s first daughter.
Other names aren’t so easy to explain. Here are the meanings behind eight big brands…
Satnav makers TomTom were known as Palmtop Software before it became a household name. Founder Harold Goddijn and his team sought a more exciting name in 1999 and had simply Tom at the top of a shortlist.
Someone later suggested TomTom, which they decided to go with – although Ericsson, who the company was working with at the time, was dubious and said: “What do you think we're doing, selling teddy bears?”
Amazon started life as Cadabra in the early ‘90s but by 1995 founder Jeff Bezos renamed it Amazon.
The name obviously refers to the river in South America, which Bezos picked for being exotic, different and big, which he wanted his online store to be.
Software brand Adobe got its name from a 14.2-mile long stream in Santa Clara County, California called the Adobe Creek.
The stream ran behind the houses of Adobe co-founders John Warnock and Charles Geschke.
Google’s name was somewhat accidental. The word came about as a misspelling of googol, the term for the number one followed by 100 zeros.
The name was chosen to represent the search engine’s aim of handling huge amounts of data and information.
Japanese electronics maker Sharp took the name of its company from one of its first products.
Before it produced the television sets and printers we know today, the firm specialised in mechanical pencils.
In 1915, inventor Tokuji Hayakawa developed the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil, which gave the firm the name we still use over 100 years later.
Nick Woodman, founder of action camera company GoPro, found his brand name from a word often used by surfers.
“Unless you were a pro surfer, there was no one out in the water to capture a photo of you. That's how I came up with the name GoPro,” he told Malakye.
“Most surfers, at some point, wish they could ‘go pro’. My friends and I wanted to go pro just so we could get some footage of us surfing; it was that difficult. So I figured at least a few surfers would be down with the concept of a wearable camera. Thankfully, I was half right.”
Despite being an American electronic gaming firm, Atari’s name is Japanese.
The word translates to the verb ‘to hit the target’ or ‘to receive something fortuitously’. The term is also used in the Japanese language when a prediction comes true or if someone wins the lottery.
BlackBerry was originally the name of Research In Motion’s smartphone line before the company adopted the BlackBerry name in 2013.
The name was first introduced in 1999 with the company’s BlackBerry 840 pager. The name was given because the keyboard’s keys looked like drupelets of the blackberry fruit.