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iPod and Wikipedia… How They Got Their Names

Don’t you ever wonder where branding names come from?  Ten years ago the terms iPod and Wikipedia wouldn’t have had meaning or association.  Today they are known around the world.  Here are a couple of background stories to what are now infamous products.   They may seem so logical to us now, but took great ingenuity to get there.


According to CIO.com, during Apple’s MP3 player development, Steve Jobs spoke of Apple’s strategy: the Mac as a hub to other gadgets.  Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter Apple hired to help manme the gadget before its debut in 2001, fixed on that idea.  he brainstormed hubs of all kinds, eventually coming tot he concept of a spaceship.  You could leave it, but you’d have to return to refuel.  the stark plastick front of the prototype inspired the final connection: pod, a la 2001.  Add an “i” and the connectio to the iMac was complete. 


According to Wikipedia, the name Wikipedia is a portmanteau of wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites) and encyclopedia (you remember those large books that kids used pre-internet to ruthlessly plagiarize for school reports).  FYI: a portmaneau is a fancy way of saying that the we’re going to take two wwords, jam them together and create a new concept that people will love.  So far, so good.  Also, in an illustration of the saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same”: Today, kids and adults (myself included!) now ruthlessly plagiarize Wikipedia instead of encyclopedias.

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