When you need to find information on the Internet you probably "Google it" right? You aren't the only one! Google processes more than 40,000 search requests every second. That's about 3.5 billion searches every day. The search giant is so huge these days that the word Google is synonymous with searching the Web. But, that almost wasn't the case. That's because originally, Google had a completely different name.
So, what was the world's most famous search engine called before Google? BackRub. That's right. Founders Sergei Brin and Larry Page used the named BackRub in 1996 before opting to change it to Google in 1998. I think they made a wise choice. Can you just imagine saying that you "BackRubbed" a person or topic to find out more?
Google's not alone when it comes to changing names. It's not even the only search engine to do it. Yahoo used to be called Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web after co-founder Jerry Yang.
Google and Yahoo are in good company. There are at least 18 other famous brands out there that started out with names you won't recognize.
Many of the popular tech companies around today used to have much less memorable names. AOL used to be called Quantum Computer Services, and Blackberry used to go by the name Research in Motion, or RIM. RIM didn't change its name to Blackberry until 2013 in recognition of its most famous product.
And, that's not all. Sony (Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo), eBay (AuctionWeb), IBM (Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation), Nintendo (Marafuku Company, Nintendo Playing Card Company), Firefox (Firebird) and PayPal (Confinity) all started out with very different names than the ones we know today.
Both Apple and Starbucks shortened their original names. Back when Apple was founded, the company went by the longer title Apple Computers. Starbucks, on the other hand, started out as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice before CEO Howard Shultz left to found Il Giornale Coffee Company. He then bought out his original company and shortened the name to simply Starbucks.
Other companies that made the switch include Best Buy (The Sound of Music), Pepsi-Cola (Brad's Drink), Nike (Blue Ribbon Sports), Hertz Rent-a-Car (DrivUrSelf), Subway (Pete's Super Submarines), Circuit City (Wards Company) and Playboy (Stag Party).
Do you think any of these companies would be as successful today with their original names? Please let me know in the comments below.