Who Came Up with That? The Story Behind Some Black Box Product Names Part 3

Amazon and Agility: At the Beginning of the Alphabet

This is the final post in our three-part series about Black Box's product names. It will cover two exciting names that begin with the first letter of the alphabet – if you didn't already realize that from the title. 

In the Stone Age (the early 1990's), many companies wanted to have their name start with an "A" so that it would be situated at the front of a phonebook. Yes, the massive, yellow book that still gets mailed to you on a yearly basis that you have no idea what to do with. This was the case for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

"Founder Jeff Bezos had originally dubbed his company 'Cadabra' (as in 'abracadabra'). But when his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver' (as in 'dead person'), Bezos decided his company needed a new, less morgue-friendly name. So Bezos went rummaging through the dictionary's first chapter in search of a likely business name - and eventually settled on 'Amazon.' Why? According to him, because it referred to the biggest river in the world."1 He certainly nailed the name - the Amazon rainforest is an important part of our planet's ecosystem and Amazon the company is now an integral part of the buying practices of many people around the world. 

That gives you Amazon's story, but what about our IP-Based KVM Switch, Agility? Was it named for a good position in the phonebook? Well, no. It's a product name, so no. That would not make sense. Is the backstory as interesting as Bezos' idea of referring to the biggest river in the world? Also no. Not whatsoever. But we appreciate it if you thought it might be.

Because Agility was our first large KVM matrix switch that was pure digital, we wanted a name that showed the system could stand the test of time. This led to potential product names being presented to a group of Black Box's top team members in a boardroom. Most team members voted for the name Agility instead of the others, because they liked it the most and thought it aligned with the product's message. We know you're overwhelmed with excitement from that story. Let's keep the excitement going by detailing Agility's actually-awesome features.

Agility KVM switching and extension connects users to remotely located computers with perfect digital video in real time. It can transmit DVI HD video, USB and audio signals over your existing LAN. The flexible topology of the Agility system gives you extension options beyond standard keyboard-monitor-mouse. This high-performance KVM system enables KVM switching, target sharing, DVI extension with full HD 60 fps and multicasting. This makes it the perfect solution for use in digital signage, healthcare, education, broadcasting, command and control rooms and corporate applications. 

So Agility is an awesome product but boasts one of the most mundane naming processes ever. Hey, they can't all be exciting. At the very least, the name didn't make our legal team think of dead people, a morgue or something worse. Maybe when our legal team heard the name Agility, they thought we were going to make energy drinks instead of amazing IT products. They're extremely happy we're not. 

To close this series out, thanks for joining us. We hope it gave you some insight into the product naming process here at Black Box. Make sure to check out some of our other blog posts, Black Box Explains articles and the rest of our website.

1. https://www.pcworld.com/article/2061288/so-thats-why-its-called-bluetooth-and-other-surprising-tech-name-origins.html
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