In the lead-up to CES my inbox is flooded with literally hundreds of pitches every day. I swear, one out of five has been for an iSomething. None of them were from Apple. iNeed you to friggin’ stop it.
Look, Apple didn’t invent the iName. If you wanna credit (blame) someone, start with Isaac Asimov who published I, Robot back in 1950, which inspired the company iRobot: founded in 1990, predating Apple’s iMac by eight years, and they are exempt from all of this. So, yeah, Apple didn’t create the convention, but it uses the naming scheme best: iPhone, iPod, iMac, iTunes, iPhoto. These are the only i’s that matter in the world of technology.
iLuv, iShower, iWatermark, iDrive, iHome, iHDD, and of course iGrill, the Bluetooth meat thermometer. iWalk and iLimb prosthetics. The iVibe line of sex toys, the iVape vaporizers for smokin’ weed. Who could forget these? Everybody.
A company can name its products whatever it wants, but these iNames? Come on! They’re bullshit. They’re piggybackers, attempting to ride the wave of someone else’s success. And in an attempt to add value to their name by invoking someone else’s success, the exact opposite of value is achieved. Maybe this would’ve worked if only one other company did it, but that was never going to happen. Once Apple had a hit — and then a series of hits — a stadium full of mee-toos started cheering for themselves.
So, attention companies: Quit it. If you choose an iName for a product, you lump it into a category that you don’t want to be in. iNames don’t invoke innovation or quality — they just make you look stupid and unoriginal. And if the name is unoriginal, what do you think we’re going to assume about your product? It’d suck if it actually happened to be worth a damn, wouldn’t it?