Nike: Named for the greek goddess of victory. The
swoosh symbolises her flight.
Skype: The original concept was â€˜Sky-Peer-to-Peerâ€™,
which morphed into Skyper, then Skype.
Mercedes: This was actually financier's daughter's
Adidas: The company name was taken from its founder
Adolf (ADI) Dassler whose first name was shortened to the nickname Adi.
Together with first three letters of his surname it formed ADIDAS.
Adobe: This came from the name of the river Adobe Creek
that ran behind the house of founder John Warnock.
Apple Computers: It was the favourite fruit of founder
Steve Jobs. He was three months late for filing a name for the business, and he
threatened to call his company Apple Computers if the other colleagues didn't
suggest a better name by 5 o'clock.
CISCO: It is not an acronym as popularly believed. It's
short for San Francisco.
Compaq: This name was formed by using COMP, for
computer and PAQ to denote a small integral object.
Corel: The name was derived from the founder's name Dr.
Michael Cowpland. It stands for COwpland Research Laboratory.
Google: The name started as a joke boasting about the
amount of information the search-engine would be able to search. It was
originally named 'Googol', a word for the 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; they received a cheque made
out to 'Google'. So, instead of returning the cheque for correction, they
decided to change the name to Google.
Hotmail: Founder Jack Smith got the idea of accessing
e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia
came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of
names ending in 'mail' and finally settled for hotmail as it included the
letters "html" - the programming language used to write web pages. It
was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective uppercasing.
Hewlett Packard: Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a
coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard
Intel: Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore wanted to name their
new company 'Moore Noyce' but that was already trademarked by a hotel chain so
they had to settle for an acronym of INTegrated ELectronics.
Lotus (Notes): Mitch Kapor got the name for his company
from 'The Lotus Position' or 'Padmasana'. Kapor used to be a teacher of
transcendental Meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Microsoft: Coined by Bill Gates to represent the
company that was devoted to MICROcomputer SOFTware. Originally christened
Micro-Soft, the '-' was removed later on.
Motorola: Founder Paul Galvin came up with this name
when his company started manufacturing radios for cars. The popular radio
company at the time was called Victrola.
Sony: It originated from the Latin word 'sonus' meaning
sound and 'sonny' as lang used by Americans to refer to a bright youngster.
SUN: Founded by 4 StanfordUniversity
buddies, SUN is the acronym for Stanford University Network. Andreas
Bechtolsheim built a microcomputer; Vinod Khosla recruited him and Scott
McNealy to manufacture computers based on it, and Bill Joy to develop a
UNIX-based OS for the computer.
Apache: It got its name because its founders got
started by applying patches to code written for NCSA's httpd daemon. The result
was 'A PAtCHy' server - thus, the name Apache Jakarta (project from Apache): A
project constituted by SUN and Apache to create a web server handling servlets
and JSPs. Jakarta was name of the conference room at SUN where most of the
meetings between SUN and Apache took place.
Tomcat: The servlet part of the Jakarta project. Tomcat was the code name for
the JSDK 2.1 project inside SUN.
C: Dennis Ritchie improved on the B programming
language and called it 'New B'. He later called it C. Earlier B was created by
Ken Thompson as a revision of the Bon programming language (named after his
C++: Bjarne Stroustrup called his new language 'C with Classes'
and then 'newC'. Because of which the original C began to be called 'old C'
which was considered insulting to the C community. At this time Rick Mascitti
suggested the name C++ as a successor to C.
GNU: A species of African antelope. Founder of the GNU
project Richard Stallman liked the name because of the humour associated with
its pronunciation and was also influenced by the children's song 'The Gnu Song'
which is a song sung by a gnu. Also it fitted into the recursive acronym
culture with 'GNU's Not Unix'.
Java: Originally called Oak by creator James Gosling,
from the tree that stood outside his window, the programming team had to look
for a substitute as there was no other language with the same name. Java was
selected from a list of suggestions. It came from the name of the coffee that
the programmers drank.
LG: Combination of two popular Korean brands Lucky and
Goldstar. Linux: Linus Torvalds originally used the Minix OS on
his system which here placed by his OS. Hence the working name was Linux
(Linus' Minix). He thought the name to be too egotistical and planned to name
it Freax (free+freak+x). His friend Ari Lemmke encouraged Linus to upload it to
a network so it could be easily downloaded. Ari gave Linus a directory called
'Linux' on his FTP server, as he did not like the name Freax. (Linus parents
named him after two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling).
Mozilla: When Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape,
created a browser to replace Mosaic (also developed by him), it was named
Mozilla (Mosaic-Killer, Godzilla). The marketing guys didn't like the name
however and it was re-christened Netscape Navigator.
Red Hat: Company founder Marc Ewing was given the
Cornell lacrosse team cap (with red and white stripes) while at college by his
grandfather. He lost it and had to search for it desperately. The manual of the
beta version of Red Hat Linux had an appeal to readers to return his Red Hat if
found by anyone!
SAP: "Systems, Applications, Products in Data
Processing", formed by 4 ex-IBM employees who used to work in the
'Systems/Applications/Projects' group of IBM.
UNIX: When Bell Labs pulled out of MULTICS (MULTiplexed
Information and Computing System), which was originally a joint Bell/GE/MIT
project, Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie of Bell Labs wrote a simpler version
of the OS. They needed the OS to run the game 'Space War' which was compiled
under MULTICS. It was called UNICS - UNIplexed operating and Computing System
by Brian Kernighan. It was later shortened to UNIX.
SCO (UNIX): From Santa
Cruz Operation. The company's office was in Santa Cruz.
Xerox: The inventor, Chestor Carlson, named his product
trying to say 'dry' (as it was dry copying, markedly different from the then
prevailing wet copying). The Greek root 'xer' means dry.
Yahoo: The word was invented by Jonathan Swift and used
in his book 'Gulliver's Travels'. It represents a person who is repulsive in
appearance and action and is barely human. Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David
Filo selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos.
Mining and Manufacturing Company started off by mining the material corundum
used to make sandpaper. It was changed to 3M when the company changed its focus
to Innovative Products.