Amazon is a rarity — a modern-day Web giant whose origins lie in the earliest days of the commercial Internet, a history that still marks it. Take its name, for instance. Jeff Bezos originally wanted to call it Cabrera, short for Abracadabra, to express how magical the experience of buying books from them would be. But when the lawyers he was working with to incorporate the company kept mishearing the name as “cadaver,” he realized he needed to change it. It was 1995, and the number one way most people navigated around the web was with Yahoo’s directory, which (prepare to have your mind blown, youths,) listed names in alphabetical order. Amazon’s “A” gave it a leg up.

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