Today, Amazon is known as the largest online marketplace in the world with over 350 million products and over 200 million users.
However, did you know that Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, almost named his company something else?
Quick Summary of This Guide
In this post, we’ll talk about some of the histories of Amazon and how it was almost called something else entirely.
Furthermore, we’ll discuss how you can still find evidence of this alternative name today.
Let’s get started.
What Amazon Could Have Been Called?
Brad Stone chronicles in his 2013 book, The Everything Store, about how the online retail giant, Jeff Bezos, brainstormed a ton of names before settling on “Amazon”.
Before Bezos had decided to call his company Amazon, he and his wife were pretty fond of another name: Relentless.
Considering how the retail giant has risen to power today and has left no stone unturned when it comes to market domination, we feel the alternative name is rather fitting.
Bezos purchased the URL back in 1994.
There’s no real documented explanation as to why Bezos liked the name Relentless but what we do know is that he liked it enough to buy the domain.
Bezos still owns the domain.
If you type “Relentless.com” and press Enter in your browser, you will be redirected to Amazon’s home page.
Go ahead, try it. We’ll wait here.
The name “Relentless” also certainly does fit Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, who worked at a New York City hedge fund prior to starting the platform.
He drove cross-country from New York to Seattle where he started working on his business plan. A small online bookstore that would eventually transform into the vast online marketplace we know today.
Once Bezos arrived in Seattle, he registered his company’s name as “Cadabra Inc.”.
According to sources, Bezos hoped that the mystical name would inspire a sense of magic when it comes to his online bookstore. To be fair, his business did have a concept that seemed magical and unreal at the time.
However, he was told by his peers that the name was too obscure and also, it sounded too much like a “cadaver”. In fact, Bezos decided to change the company’s name after a lawyer misheard it as such.
So, Bezos went back to brainstorming ideas for names for his company.
That’s when he came up with “Relentless.com”.
Along with Relentless.com, Bezos thought of a bunch of other names as well and even registered domains for them.
Some examples of names that Bezos considered for his company include:
Not all of these domains work anymore but you can try them out as some of them are still owned by Bezos and will redirect you to the Amazon home page.
A fun fact about Aard.com is that that was the CEO’s attempt to get listed at the top of search engines that arrange links within their library in alphabetical order.
So why did Bezos settle on Amazon after being so fond of Relentless?
Well, his friends and peers suggested to Bezos that “Relentless” sounded a bit too sinister and unfriendly.
That’s where “Amazon” came in.
Apparently, Bezos selected the final name by browsing through a dictionary.
During his brainstorming sessions, Bezos realized that he kept coming back to the letter “A” a lot of times when trying to come up with names.
He settled on the name “Amazon” because the river was “exotic and different”, something that Bezos had envisioned for his online business.
Bezos drew parallels between the river and how it serves many people in the world with what he wants to achieve with his company.
Hence, finally, he settled upon naming his company after the largest river in the world by volume. This also works in tandem with the fact that Bezos wanted to make his company the biggest bookstore in the world.
Wrapping Things Up…
With that, we’re at the end of our post detailing how certain URLs and domains still lead you to Amazon.com due to the company’s early alternate names.
It’s quite fascinating how you can experience these early decisions for yourself by typing these domain names into your browser and being led to Amazon’s home page.
What do you think of Amazon’s early names? Would Relentless have been a better name? Let us know in the comments below.