Marketing Exec Michael Cronan — the Man Who Named TiVo and Another Popular Device — Dead at 61

Jan 7, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The San Francisco-based marketing executive Michael Cronan, who created the brand name TiVo, has died, reports The New York Times. Cronan, 61, died of colon cancer, according to the report.

In 1997 Cronan was asked by a company called Teleworld to create a new name and identity for a new device called a digital video recorder.

“We reviewed probably 1,600-plus name alternatives, seriously considered over 800 names and presented over 100 strong candidates to the team," Cronan told the blog PVR. The choices included potential names such as Bongo and Lasso, which The Times said never made it far.

“I thought it should be as close as possible to what people would find familiar, so it must contain T and V," Cronan said. “I started looking at letter combinations and pretty quickly settled on TiVo.”

According to The Times, the "Vo" portion had a link to the Latin and Italian words for vocal sound and voice. Cronan also created the TiVo mascot, a TV-shaped character with feet and rabbit ears.

Cronan also developed the name Kindle for Amazon’s reading device. According to his wife, Karin Hibma, with whom he founded the marketing company Cronan in the 1980s, he wanted to find a name that “was about starting something, giving birth to something."

michael-cronan.jpgMichael Cronan

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