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List of company name etymologies (wikipedia.org)
66 points by bjonathan on Sept 27, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

Wow, no mention of Iomega, one of the most aptly named companies in history, in my opinion. They were the makers of the Zip and Jaz drives, among other things.

I/O Mega (input/output...mega)

Iω (I-omega -- the product of the moment of inertia with angular velocity -- resulting in angular momentum)

Well, it's Wikipedia - feel free to put it in. ;-)

They are missing the car brand Lexus, which stands for Luxury Export to US. (how spartan a name for a luxury brand!)

edit: Ah nevermind, re-reading the lexus wiki page states that:

The etymology of the Lexus name has been attributed to the combination of the words "luxury" and "elegance," and another theory claims it is an acronym for "luxury exports to the U.S." According to Team One interviews, the brand name has no specific meaning and simply denotes a luxurious and technological image.

It's interesting how many companies were named after founders. I get the feeling that today it's no longer the case for technology companies.

I honestly have trouble deciding if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Good: It's less ego-centric. Bad: It's more idea-centric.

I mean, the YC mantra is that founders matter most, no?

I think on balance it's bad.

Naming an enterprise for the founder/founders helps wire in more of the critical DNA, but in a way which doesn't tie you to a specific product or service. It's tricky to do this with a more generic name. This gives both an anchoring identity and flexibility to grow. It tends to imply a long-term view by the founders as well: why attach your name to something for which you've got an explicit exit strategy?

By way of counter-examples, "IBM" (International Business Machines) turns out to be a really good, generic, but still applicable and adaptable, name. "Apple" has worked fairly well. "Xerox" is tied to a specific duplication method. "Polaroid" grew and died with a specific photographic process (though "Land" doesn't seem to have helped much in this case).

From recent tech memory, "VA Research" (later "VA Linux") was named for its cofounders.

I personally like this in some... aesthetic?... sense. I mean, I like names that mean something more than just who started the company.

This is nice

Six Apart – company co-founders Ben and Mena Trott were born six days apart

So Wendy's is named after Dave Thomas's daughter Melinda. That seems to raise more questions than it answers.

Was pyrex a company name?

Pyrex == latin pyro + rex == fire king.

Pyrex is a Corning brand: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrex

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