Steve Jobs Was Against The Name “Siri” Before He Was For It
A palate-cleanser for the four course meal that will be your long and fruitful day: Yoni Heisler recounts a talk by Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus in which he describes the naming process. Siri means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory” in Norwegian and Kittlaus owned the siri.com domain. He was planning on naming a child after said beautiful woman but his first child was a boy. Instead, he named his product after her.
Once Apple bought the company, Kittlaus was brought into Apple HQ to speak to Scott Forstall. After a bit of hemming and hawing, he was sent to meet with Steve Jobs in secret.
And he wanted me to come over to his house the next day, and I did, and I spent 3 hours with him in front of his fireplace having this surreal conversation about the future. And, you know, he talked about why Apple was going to win, and we talked about how Siri was doing. And he was very excited about the fact that.. you know, he was very interested in this area in general but, you know, they’re patient, they don’t jump on anything until they feel they can go after something new and he felt that we cracked it. So that was his attraction.
Steve initially didn’t like the name Siri for the iPhone’s voice assistant but, unable to find a better name (Ethel, maybe?) he settled on a Norwegian warrior goddess. And now you know… the rest of the story.