This is hard to believe, but initially in 1996, Sergey Brin and Larry Page called their search system BackRub. This was due to the fact that the search engine checked back links to assess the importance of the site and its ranking.
A year later, the company was renamed Google. The developers wanted to use the word googol – which is a number in the decimal notation, represented by a unit with 100 zeros. But when the founders checked free domain names, they accidentally entered google.com instead of googol.com. Paige liked it this way even more, and so Google it was.
It is unlikely that Yahoo would have been such a successful company if it retained such a long initial name – “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”. Even the abbreviation JADGTTWWW would only exacerbate the situation – such an abbreviation is almost impossible to remember, unless you yourself invented it.
Fortunately, the name of the company decided to change it to YAHOO! – an acronym for the phrase Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle. However, an exclamation point had to be added to the resulting word, since the usual Yahoo was already a trademark for barbecue sauce.
From 1946 to 1958, the Japanese company Sony was called quite differently: the locals knew it as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (“Tokyo Telecommunications Industry Company”).
However, the Japanese realized in time that with such naming would not do well in the US, so they decided to radically change the name. In the end, they decided to choose a combination of the Latin word sonus (“sound”) and the slang American expression sonny.
As early as 1889, Fusadziro Yamauchi started a small business manufacturing Japanese playing cards in Kyoto. He informally called his little company Nintendo Koppai.
In 1947, when the company grew and began distributing products, it was renamed Marufuku Co. Four years later, management decided to return the Nintendo name, adding the phrase Playing Card Co. there. Ltd. And Only in 1963, naming was reduced to the usual Nintendo. This is how we know it to this day.
The popular Mozilla Firefox browser has managed to change several names since its conception. At first, the service was developed under the name Phoenix. Later it had to be changed due to problems with the trademark: the founders of Phoenix Technologies didn’t like that Mozilla was also using the name.
Then the browser developers changed their name to Firebird, but even here they were disappointed: there were claims coming from the creators of the database system of the same name. As a result, Mozilla began to use the name Firefox.
Until 2013, the once popular mobile phone company Blackberry was once called Research in Motion (abbreviated as RIM). They changed the name after everyone began to associate it with the best-selling product – Blackberry smartphones.
Ironically, three years later, the company abandoned its own production of mobile devices due to disappointing financial results. But that’s another story.
In 1995, when the legendary online auction Ebay was just launched, it was called AuctionWeb. The current name of the site was received only two years later: the creator of the site, Pierre Omidyar, wanted to call it the Echo Bay Technology Group so that it would be associated with its eponymous consulting company.
However, the plan failed because of the domain name. The EchoBay.com page was owned by another gold mining company, so Omilyar decided to shorten the name to eBay.com.
Few people remember that before MegaFon, the cellular operator, had a completely different name: in 1993, the company was called ZAO North-West GSM.
The rebranding occurred nine years later: in 2002, the board of directors decided to change the name of the company to the more pleasant MegaFon’s ear.