Naming issues are one of those fascinating 'victim of success' problems. When you're a lean, hungry startup about to revolutionize the world of cellphones, vacuum robots, macrame or whatever it is, you generally don't have a marketing department or even someone who could play one on TV. So someone who actually does something useful for a living makes up a name, and you go with that.

Fast-forward a year, and you're a success! What do you call your next product? Well, there's two basic approaches: come up with a new name that's kinda along the same lines as the first, or stick a '2' on the end. Either works fine for now.

Fast-forward five years, and suddenly you've got twenty naturally and/or artificially market segmented cellphones / vacuum robots / macrame cords or whatever it is, and a naming scheme that was probably hastily retrofitted onto the ad-hoc scheme you went with for the first two years, or invented just when you started diversifying your product portfolio with some sort of coherent overall scheme.

Fast-forward another five years, and you're Nokia. I love one particular line from that (Andrew Orlowski) article: "Nokia's names were now composed of an impenetrable, super-dense matter, incomprehensible to any outsider." This happens to just about any company which churns out a lot of products every year, especially if the vaguely coherent naming/numbering scheme they came up with when they first hired a marketing department gets overhauled every so often when some new whizkid comes along with a boffo new scheme (viz Nokia's 'E' and 'N' lines).

I suspect you can evaluate the age, long-term planning capability and firmness of resistance to idiotic marketing schemes of any particular company just by taking a look at their product names...


giallu wrote on 2011-08-04 09:56:
Fast forward another 5 years, and you are Intel...