There are many companies / brands / products whose names were derived from strange circumstances. Mercedes This was actually the financier's daughter's name.
Adobe This came from name of the river Adobe Creek that ran behind the house of founder John Warnock.
Apple Computers It was the favorite fruit of founder Steve Jobs. He was three months late in filing a name for the business, and he threatened to call his company Apple Computers if the other colleagues didn't suggest a better name by 5 O'clock.
CISCO It is not an acronym as popularly believed. It is short for San Francisco.
Compaq This name was formed by using COMp, for computer, and PAQ to denote a small integral object.
Corel The name was derived from the founder's name Dr. Michael Cowpland. It stands for COwpland REsearch Laboratory.
Google The name started as a joke boasting about the amount of information the search-engine would be able to search. It was originally named 'Googol', a word for the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros. After founders- Stanford graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page presented their project to an angel investor, they received a cheque made out to 'Google'
Hotmail Founder Jack Smith got the idea of accessing e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending in 'mail' and finally settled for hotmail as it included the letters "html" - the programming language used to write web pages. It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective uppercasing.
Hewlett Packard Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.
Intel Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore wanted to name their new company 'Moore Noyce'but that was already trademarked by a hotel chain so they had to settle for an acronym of INTegrated ELectronics. Lotus (Notes) Mitch Kapor got the name for his company from 'The Lotus Position' or 'Padmasana'. Kapoor used to be a teacher of Transcendental Meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Microsoft Coined by Bill Gates to represent the company that was devoted to MICROcomputer SOFTware. Originally christened Micro-Soft, the '-' was removed later on.
Motorola Founder Paul Galvin came up with this name when his company started manufacturing radios for cars. The popular radio company at the time was called Victrola.
ORACLE Larry Ellison and Bob Oats were working on a consulting project for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). The code name for the project was called Oracle (the CIA saw this as the system to give answers to all questions or something such). The project was designed to help use the newly written SQL code by IBM. The project eventually was terminated but Larry and Bob decided to finish what they started and bring it to the world. They kept the name Oracle and created the RDBMS engine. Later they kept the same name for the company.
Sony It originated from the Latin word 'sonus' meaning sound, and 'sonny' a slang used by Americans to refer to a bright youngster.
SUN Founded by 4 Stanford University buddies, SUN is the acronym for Stanford University Network. Andreas Bechtolsheim built a microcomputer; Vinod Khosla recruited him and Scott McNealy to manufacture computers based on it, and Bill Joy to develop a UNIX-based OS for the computer.
Yahoo! The word was invented by Jonathan Swift and used in his book 'Gulliver's Travels'. It represents a person who is repulsive in appearance and action and is barely human. Yahoo! Founders Jerry Yang and David Filo selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos.