Mar 13, 2015

Five Company Name Origins

Etsy, The online crafts marketplace tried to use a “complicated name-generating script” that never worked. Rather than fix the kinks, they ran with the program’s codename, Etsy, and told the media it was an interpretation of the Italian (“oh yes”) and Latin (“and if”) sayings.

Microsoft, Paul Allen not Bill Gates, came up with the name for their billion-dollar PC dynasty. He found inspiration from the creation of MICROprocessors and saw the future of computers in SOFTware, leading to the blend of terms.

Instagram, Seeking a title that personified the belief of “right here, right now,” the folks behind Instagram merged the terms “instant camera” and “telegram” to play off the app’s speedy interaction. It took them a week and half to think of something that could be recognized and “spellable” for bar crowds.

Sony, Combine the Latin term for sound ‘sonus’ with the American slang for bright youngster ‘sonny’ and you have the name for a billion-dollar electronics business. Founder Akio Morita believed ‘Sony’ was a way of letting the public know they “were sonny boys working in sound and vision” in the industry at the time. It is also an easy pronunciation in all languages.

Twitter, The social network considered Twitch. Former CEO Jack Dorsey was not sold on it, so he had the team pick a name from a hat and ‘Twitter’ became its dual-meaning of bird chirping and chattering to describe the service.

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