Friday, July 6, 2012

Apple's MacMan computer

So how did you come up with i in iMac?

We filled walls and did all sorts of stuff. It needed to have the word Mac in the name. And there’s an easy way to get on the Internet. When we went in to show Steve there was such things as MacRocket, another was Macster and MacMan. What Steve liked about MacMan was, we thought it sounded a little like Walkman, and he said Sony is a great consumer electronics company, and if there is a rub-off from that I don’t think it would be a terrible thing. Ten years later Steve wouldn’t feel that way any longer.

The thing he told us to keep in mind was because it looked kind of toylike, I don’t want it to sound like a toy. Then we all scratched our heads and said MacMan sounds like PacMan, it sounds like a game. But Steve had that “I like it” thing going on and he followed his heart a lot of the time. The only good thing we could do is go back and find a better one. So I came up with five names, I saved the best one for last. And I said, iMac, and we can list bullet points:
  • i for Internet
  • i for imagination
  • i for individual
It’s so short and we can own that, and one of the reasons also was maybe one day we would want to use it as a foundation for other names. Steve’s reaction? “Hate it.” So we come back a week later with three new names, and, “Hate it, hate it, hate it.”

But we said we still like this one, iMac. And Steve said, I don’t hate it this week, but I still don’t like it, so you’ve got two days.

The next day Steve had it silk-screened on a computer model and he was showing it to his inner circle. There was never a phone call from Steve saying, you guys really are geniuses. It was just silence, and it was suddenly iMac, which was great.
--Ken Segall, NYT, on how the iMac was almost the MacMan