I made the mistake today of actually reading some of the press about that little Safari naming story I posted here. And now I can’t believe how many sites out there got the point of it wrong and wrote lazy-ass, link-bait headlines.


Steve Jobs did not “want” to name the browser “Freedom.” It was just one of the many names he suggested at the beginning to get us focused on the process of naming it. He wanted us thinking about what the browser would mean to our users and what it already meant to us. That’s what good executives do. And—you might not have heard—he was a damn good executive.

Discusion about “Freedom” lasted less than five minutes. That’s it. And then we were on to the next name. I picked that particular name from the host of candidates because:

  • It was one of the first I heard.
  • I remembered it.
  • I thought it was both poignant and funny.

Also, just like Apple didn’t name iChat “Fez” or OS X on Intel “Marklar,” there was no chance in Hell that Safari’s final name would be “iBrowse” or “Alexander.” The first name was a gag and the second was an internal placeholder. I mentioned both of these facts in the story.

The whole point of that story was my personal reaction to hearing the name, “Safari,” for the very first time—it’s the title of the damn post.


I know that I can’t control what other people write. And I don’t want that to inhibit what I do here. But it does give me pause.