Aaron Dinin, PhD
1 min readJul 2, 2023

From Wikipedia:

"On July 5, 1994, Bezos initially incorporated the company in Washington state with the name Cadabra, Inc.[7] After a few months, he changed the name to Amazon.com, Inc, because a lawyer misheard its original name as "cadaver".[8] Bezos selected this name by looking through a dictionary; he settled on "Amazon" because it was a place that was "exotic and different", just as he had envisioned for his Internet enterprise. The Amazon River, he noted, was the biggest river in the world, and he planned to make his store the biggest bookstore in the world.[9] Additionally, a name that began with "A" was preferred because it would probably be at the top of an alphabetized list."

I'd like you to find me one person in 1995 who heard the word "Amazon" and immediately thought "books."

Yes, the name has retroactively been made to to fit. But, again, that proves my point. A good product creates a name that people become familiar with and appreciate. But it's not the other way around.

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Aaron Dinin, PhD

I teach entrepreneurship at Duke. Software Engineer. PhD in English. I write about the mistakes entrepreneurs make since I’ve made plenty. More @ aarondinin.com