When a trendy corporate fad is embraced by the dinosaur in the market, that usually marks the peak and indicates the coming decline in the fad. I for one hope that the recent release of the Xbox One digital dinosaur Microsoft marks the decline of one bad naming fad—naming your latest product “One”. It seems like everyone has a “<MyBrand> One” out. In addition to Xbox One, I have run across Pandora One, Ubuntu One, Dell’s XPS One, HTC One, and PLOS ONE.
The one that is particularly unfortunate is PLOS ONE; the others will be forgotten in a few years, but the groundbreaking (and now largest) journal will last much longer. Ten years from now that name is going to seem silly. Just imagine if they had launched it in the early dot-com years and today it was called “eJournal.com”. That would have been kind of hot in 1999. I predict that they will change the name to just “Plos” around 2017.
I have been trying to figure out when this fad started. The problem is that the word “one” is simply too common to discriminate in a web search. Though it may be because this is when I first started noticing, it seems that PLOS ONE the oldest one with an origin of 2006. And that makes the name more forgivable; they couldn’t know how that every major digital organization was going to name their latest product “One” also.
There will be a few more bad names before this is all over. So here’s to you Samsung One, Facebook One, Twitter One, Sony One, etc.