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Lesser Known Facts About Technology Giants and Brands



1) The first product developed by the tech giant SONY was an electric rice-cooker made of aluminum electrodes and a wooden bucket.

Sony, a multinational conglomerate, is famous for its electronic goods and is a key player in the market. However, the company had a humble beginning in 1945 when it was founded by a defense contractor named Masaru Ibuka. The first product created by its founder was not a fancy electronic gadget but a humble rice-cooker. The rice-cooker was released under the company name “Tokyo Telecommunications Research Institute.”

The electric rice-cooker was created by interlocking a pair of aluminum electrodes that were attached to a simple, wooden tub. The product was considered to be a failure as the end product relied heavily on the quality of rice and the quantity of water. The product consistently produced mostly undercooked or overcooked rice. Since the product was considered a failure, it was never released in the market. (1, 2)

2) The concept of Sony Walkman, one of the bestselling products in the firm’s history, was not appreciated by company executives initially.


1) The firm was founded by three people, namely Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak, in the year 1976.

2) The very first Apple logo featured Sir Isaac Newton sitting underneath a tree, with an apple about to hit his head.

3) The first computer sold by Apple was priced at US $666.66, which is said to be the number of Satan.

4) Steve Jobs produced Apple – 1 in the summer of 1976. The same computer was sold at an auction for $905,000 in 2014.

5) In 2002, Fujitsu made a device called the “iPad,” and Apple had to pay $4 million to Fujitsu to buy the trademark rights.

The term “iPad” is synonymous with the tech giant Apple. However, before the product was officially launched, the iconic name was held by Fujitsu. In 2002, Japanese tech giant Fujitsu released its own version of the iPad, a handheld device. The lightweight device was used for facilitating inventory management and credit card payments. The device comprised of an Intel processor and a Microsoft operating system. Moreover, the versatile device supported both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

In 2010, when Apple decided to launch its signature device, they were caught amidst a naming controversy. Fujitsu accused Apple of stealing its product name and threatened to sue the company. To settle the allegations, Apple purchased the trademark rights from Fujitsu for a whopping $4 million. The rest is history as Apple’s iPad became a signature line of tablet computers. (source)


1) Google celebrated its 21st Birthday on 27th September 2019.

2) “Backrub” was actually one of the earliest names for Google back in the mid-1990s when its core function was to analyze backlinks on the web.

Google needs no formal introduction since it is the most widely used search engine in the world. It was launched in 1998 by a pair of Stanford University students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. During the initial stages, the pair was working on a computer program named “Backrub.” The quirkily named computer program was actually a search engine that was used for backlink analysis – tracking and recording data on the Internet.

The name “Backrub” was derived from a series of algorithms that were used for calculating ranks from the backlinks generated from a particular webpage. The search engine gained immense popularity. In 1999, Brin and Page opened their maiden office in a garage owned by Susan Wojcicki in California. In an interesting turn of events, the name “Google” is a mathematical play on the term “googol” – denoting number one followed by 100 zeros. The name of Google is actually misspelled as founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wanted to use “googol” (100 zeroes after 1), which would have represented unlimited information. (1, 2)

3) The first Tweet posted by Google was, “I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010.” In binary system, it stands for “I’m feeling lucky.”

4) The lack of any colour and design on Google’s homepage is because the founders had no knowledge of HTML.

YouTube was originally designed to be a video-based dating website with the slogan ‘Tune in, Hook up’. Founded on February 14, 2005, it allowed users to share videos of themselves talking about the kind of partner they wanted. However, the idea did not seem to catch on, following which it was opened up to all kinds of videos.

6) More Google Facts

How Amazon.com Got Its Name

Amazon.com was very nearly called “Cadabra,” as in “abracadabra.” Founder Jeff Bezos rapidly re-conceptualized the name when his lawyer misheard the word as “cadaver.”

Bezos instead named the business after the river reportedly for two reasons. One, to suggest scale (Amazon.com launched with the tagline “Earth’s biggest book store”) and two, back then website listings were often alphabetical.


1) Samsung originally sold dry fish, vegetables, and noodles. It wasn’t until 1970 that they started selling electronics.

Over the decades, Samsung has become a household name by manufacturing a range of products. The world’s second largest tech company had a humble beginning in 1938. The conglomerate was founded by Byung-Chull Lee, a local businessman in South Korea. The company started out by selling exported goods such as Korean dry fish, flour, noodles, vegetables, and a variety of local produce to China.

The company was instrumental in propelling the nation’s economy by reviving industrialization after the Korean War. Around the 1950s, the company branched out to other business ventures such as insurance and textiles. Later, in 1970, the company released its first black-and-white TV into the market. After its successful venture, the company started manufacturing household appliances and electronic gadgets. (1, 2)


In 1994, IBM released a cell phone with touch screen and e-mail. It could send and receive faxes and work as a pager. It was considered to be the “world’s first smartphone” due to its advanced features and capabilities.

IBM is an American multinational company famous for producing and selling computer hardware, middleware, and software. It is astonishing to note that the company in 1994 sold a cell phone dubbed as “world’s first smartphone.” The cell phone, named “IBM Simon,” was a handheld, touchscreen, personal device and was assembled by Mitsubishi Electric.

IBM Simon was dubbed as the first smartphone due to its advanced features. It was the first personal device that incorporated the features of a cell phone and a PDA. Furthermore, it included telephony features, email exchange, cellular pages, calendar, address book, maps, stock, and news. The company sold an estimated 50,000 units within a year. However, the only drawback was the battery life only lasted for an hour. (source)

Tech Facts:

  • PCs went by the name “Electronic Brains” in the 1950s.
  • The original name of Windows was Interface Manager.

Domain name registrations were free till 1995: Nobody really knew what the internet was capable of back then and this was a huge opportunity for people to own all kinds of do domain names. It was in 1995 that a company called Network Solutions was granted the rights to charge people for domain names. And it was expensive too: prices typically started at $100 per two years of registration.

As much as 30 per cent of this was a fee that went to the National Science Foundation to create an ‘Internet Intellectual Infrastructure Fund’. This fee was later reversed in 1997, bringing the charge down to $70 for two years.

Email is older than the World Wide Web

Electronic mail was invented by Ray Tomlinson in the 1960s. It wasn’t until a couple of decades later that the World Wide Web would begin to take shape in the form we know and love today.

The first spam email was sent in 1978 by Gary Thuerk to several hundred users on ARPANET (the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). Since then, plenty of nefarious companies and individuals have jumped on that bandwagon, plaguing our inboxes with unwanted junk. They’ve even used smart fridges to help push more out.

Brand Facts:

1) Pepsi was introduced as “Brad’s Drink” by Caleb Bradham who made and sold it at his drugstore. It was renamed “Pepsi Cola” in 1898 after the digestive enzyme pepsin and kola nuts used in the recipe.

One of America’s largest food and beverage company, PepsiCo, has an interesting backstory. Pepsi was created in 1893 by Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist hoping to duplicate the taste of Coca-Cola. He introduced his creation as “Brad’s Drink” and sold it at his drugstore. The drink was made from a mix of water, sugar, caramel, lemon oil, nutmeg and various natural additives such as kola nuts. The drink became an overnight sensation. In 1898, Bradham christened it as “Pepsi-Cola.”

The pharmacist believed that the concoction was more than a refreshing drink but a “healthy” cola. He strongly believed that the cola was crucial in aiding digestion. Ironically, the name “Pepsi” is derived from the word pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down protein into smaller peptides to aid digestion. The drink was initially sold in syrup bottles, and due to its increasing popularity, it was soon sold in glass bottles. (1, 2)

2) Fanta is available in more than hundreds of flavors, including “Mushroom,” “Red Tangerine,” “Lychee Soursop,” and “Banana Fermented Milk.”

Fanta is a term that is synonymous with its color orange and its trademark, fruity flavor. It is a fruit-flavored carbonated drink manufactured by Coca-Cola. The drink was created in Germany during World War II under trade embargo. According to sources, the name and its flavor was the result of an intense brainstorming session. The initial concoction was made out of available leftovers such as whey and apple pomace.

There are more than 90 flavors of Fanta available worldwide. Countries such as Albania, Turkey, and Sweden boast of having “Fanta Shokata” made from elderflower blossom extract. In Japan, the company released a quirky “Chilly Tangerine” flavor. Moreover, the company has released a myriad of quirky flavors such as “Mushroom,” “Lychee Soursop,” and “Banana Fermented Milk.” (1, 2)

3) Coca-Cola never patented their “secret formula” because otherwise, they would be required to disclose it to the public.

Coca-Cola’s formula is considered to be the “world’s most-guarded secret.” The formula is closely guarded in a custom-built vault at the company’s headquarter in Atlanta. Even the employees who have access to the vault have to pass through rigorous safety measures that include palm scanners, keypads, and a massive steel door. The company has this safety mechanism in place since they never patented their “secret formula” that is written down on a piece of paper.

According to the Intellectual Property Rights rules, once a product is patented, the recipe along with ingredients must be disclosed after a period of 20 years. Why would the food giant disclose their recipe for a short-protection period? To guard their secret, the company has heavily invested in its trademark’s secret by increasing its production scale. Rather than applying for a patent, the company filed for trade secret since its lifetime is infinite. (1, 2)