October 19, 2013

Why relentless.com redirects to Amazon

Every journey has a beginning. As so many other journeys of newly founded companies, Amazon's journey began in a garage in 1994. The founder of the company, Jeff Bezos, and his small team had severe problems with coming up with a name for the company. Amazon was originally called Cadabra because it had a magical feeling to it (as in Abracadabra) - but they realized people confused the name with cadaver (a corpse). Other ideas they registered were Awake.com, Browse.com, Bookmall.com, and Aard.com. Yet another name they thought of was Relentless.com, which both Jeff Bezos and his wife really liked, and they liked it so much that they still keep it. So if you type in Relentless.com, you will be redirected to Amazon.com.

But how did they come up with Amazon? Jeff Bezos searched through a dictionary and found the Amazon river, which is the world's largest river. "This is not only the largest river in the world, it's many times larger than the next biggest river. It blows all other rivers away," Jeff Bezos told his team. The name was a perfect fit for the company because, already at these early times in 1994, he wanted to build the world's largest bookstore. In the screenshot below, you can see how the Amazon river snakes through an A in Amazon's first logotype.

Amazon in 1995. Source: Kokogiak

When the above site appeared on the Internet, no-one could have guessed that Amazon would grow into:

Source: The Everything Store, Sam Gerstenzang