Do you remember Osborn1?
Osborn1 was the very first portable computer in the world. Was Osborn1 a bad name? No, absolutely not. Osborn1, in my opinion, is a great name for a very first product. Did the name kill the product? No, absolutely not. Compare the picture to your right with your current laptop and you know why. Osborn1 was truly a marvel at its time. Great, great computer and I mean it.
For small entrepreneurs, however, the important concepts for choosing a good name are "right, related, witty, and visionary ". Right names are more important and not "a secret formula name" that will do magic for you. You still need to have that magical product that will fulfill your customers' dream.
The other important factor is relevancy. If you are Apple, Google, and Yahoo, you can choose any name you fancy. So they did! When you receive a check for $20 million from your venture capital firm, you can also name your company "Cypress". However, relevancy always helps when you prefer your name to indicate your service.
How could Pentium (if you have $40,000 to spend on naming as Intel did on Pentium) be a bad processor (or in our case a bad name)? After inventing three generations of processors at Intel, Pentium better be Darn Good. How could Powerbook be a bad computer after Apple had already done all its mistake with Lisa and MacIntosh. Was Lisa a bad name? No. Absolutely not. The name Lisa definitely did not kill the new product from Apple. It was the price of $10,000 and the complexity of the product that killed Lisa. Lisa was the very first Window featured computer from Apple (actually credit should go to Xerox labs in Palo Alto for inventing the concept of Window, also Mouse, and Ethernet).
Remember Newton? Was Newton a bad name for Apple's first handheld notepad? No, I believe it was actually a great name. Newton, however, died. Why? It was the fact that Apple rushed an incomplete product out (forced to rush it out) that killed the product. Newton was the original design for Palm from 3COM. The inventor of Newton just moved from Apple to 3COM and naturally his concept moved with him.
Is Palm a bad name or a good name? No one should really care. Palm worked. Or, actually the good old Newton finally matured and worked right.
Steven Jobs, the original inventor of Apple computer, is unlucky his last name is Jobs. If it was anything other than "Jobs", Apple or desktop computers would be that. Who wants to buy a computer from Jobs? Notice, however, relevancy is important. Imagine if computers were called "Jobs". Since most of us, entrepreneurs, spend most of our evenings next to our computers, we would be next to our Jobs. Just note how the name Xerox actually became a verb. Most people need to Xerox and almost no one says I need to copy.
Yes, if your company is as reliable as Isuzu, how can "Outback" be a bad name? I am sure you get the idea. If you have a Winner, why not just call it "Winner"?
Naming is not a science. Naming is an art. We are not linguists or scientists. Good products make good names, however, smart, sassy, and aesthically pleasing names signal your intelligence, your credibility, and your wit. Most of us don't have that 20-million-dollar check from our venture capital firm to choose a name like Yahoo, Apple, or even Google. Most of us have an idea, a new product, and a need for a name to signal a true genius behind the product.
Can you even imagine forking out nearly 20,000 dollars for a computer with 64K RAM? I can’t imagine what the people during that era of computer buying must have gone through. Jesus Christ! The price tags on these computers that you are about to see were beyond outrageous. In the 80s computers that weighed 55 pounds were called portable computers and now we whine if they are over 5 pounds. We sure as hell are spoiled cause personally I wouldn’t fork out more than 1000 dollars for a nice rig. Check out these images, although they were the roots for modern day computers, they were ugly as hell and the price no matter what anybody says didn’t justify whatsoever.
Presenting the ugliest computers from the past that came with outrageous price tags. Enjoy!
Radio Shack TRS - 80 Model II (1979)
Price : $3,450 (32K RAM)
$3,899 (64 K Ram)
Osborne 1 - Considered to be the first portable computer (1981)
Price : $1,795 (32K RAM)
Otrona Attache (1982)
Price : $3,995 (64K RAM)
Apple Lisa (1983)
Price : $9,995 (1MB)
Apple III (1981)
Price : $3,495 (128K RAM)
$3,815 (w/ monitor)
Compaq Portable III (1987)
Price : $4,999 (20MB HD)
$5,799 (40MB HD)
Price : $2,375 (64K RAM)
IBM 5120 (1980)
Price : $9,340 (w/ printer)
IBM Portable PC 5155 (1984)
Price : $4,225 (256 - 640K RAM)
IBM Portable PC (1975)
Price : $19,975 (64K RAM)
Which one made you bite your nails? The IBM Portable PC released in 1975 certainly made me piss my pants considering there are houses selling on eBay these days for freaking 10 dollars.