Hadoop. Where Did The Name Come From?

Doug Cutting and Hadoop the elephant

George Burns – “First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down”

Google, Skype, Cisco and Zune are just a handful of tech companies that opted to use weird and wonderful names. Now, some of these names have great back stories such as Google (‘Googol’ is 1.0 × 10100 , and that was the original name of the company until the accounts guy misspelt it) and others are just fanciful, non-sensical creations.

Considering the global Big Data storm that is happening right now, I often get asked what does Hadoop mean? Where does the name come from? Good questions, let me answer them for you.

Pictured above is Doug Cutting. Not only is he wearing a really trendy, purple Cloudera zip hoody, he’s also holding a yellow toy elephant. This elephants name is Hadoop. This was the much loved toy of his then 2 year old who, when first beginning to talk, gave it the name seemingly out of nowhere. ‘Hadoop’ came into existence.

Though, It was many years until Cutting applied the name to a piece of software that is predicted to be worth $50 Billion by 2020. Cutting mentions that “being a guy in the software business, we’re always looking for names…I’d been saving it for the right time”.

Final thought? If you create a name for a tech company that goes on to be worth billions, make sure you get the royalties sorted. As Cutting states, “I’ve tried to draw a line around not having my kid too associated with it. He’s always frustrated with this. He’s always saying, ‘Why don’t you say my name, and why don’t I get royalties? I deserve to be famous for this, Dad.’ “

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