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TR Dojo Quiz: Name that tech company founder

Take our TR Dojo tech founders quiz and test your knowledge of the names behind some of the biggest tech companies.

u probably know the names behind Microsoft, Apple, Dell and other early tech companies. But, do you know who founded Cisco? What about AMD or Intel? Take our TR Dojo Cracking Open quiz and test your knowledge of tech company founders.

As you take the quick remember the following:

  • I focused the quiz on large companies that were founded early in the tech revolution and that have been industry leaders for at least 20 years. The quiz therefore, does not include more recently formed Internet heavyweights such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook. In the future, I'll publish a quiz on these companies.
  • Many companies and people are not listed. For example, IBM is not on the list. Because "Big Blue" was formed by the merger of several existing companies, it's difficult, if not impossible, to determine a founder. Likewise, not all eight of the AMD co-founders are listed. There just wasn't room in the quiz for that many individuals from a single company.
  • The questions are spread across multiple pages to make the quiz easier to take. Be sure to click the next page link at the bottom of each page. I've also included photos of some people in the quiz.
Note: Unfortunately, our poll tool, which I use to create each pop quiz, doesn't let me indicate a correct answer after each question. To keep from giving away the answers before everyone has a chance to test his/her knowledge, and ruining all the fun, I've published the answers on the last page of this blog post. I encourage everyone to answer all the questions before looking at the last page or using your favorite search engine to find the answers.

Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak

Paul Allen - Credit: NBA

More questions on the next page »

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

16 comments
richard.artes
richard.artes

Here's one to help you : Sony was previously the Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Company. What about a quiz asking what a product name was before it was re-branded and became successful? E.G. Palm was originally US Robotics (before it became part of 3Com and then spun off to Palm).

ggalvan
ggalvan

to ask about original or previous company name? Example: Dell Computer was originally founded as: a) Austin Computers, inc. b) Dell Electronics c) PCs Limited d) Texas Computer & Electronics Just my opinion.

robo_dev
robo_dev

Founded in 1884, acquired by AT&T in 1994, sold by AT&T in 1996. This company had a division that boasted of having the largest database in the world in 1999, at 130 TB. Anyone, anyone??

jwebfoot2togo
jwebfoot2togo

You say that you didn't include IBM because it was an amalgamation of many companies. I would point out that it wasn;t the case. IBM was founded originally as the Binghamton Time Company and then diversified into other business machine production under Tom Watson as president of Binghamton Time and funding from Geo. and Fred Johnson of Endicott Johnson shoes. True they had many contributors to make it the tech giant it became but it all can be traced to this small number principe people.

crcgraphix
crcgraphix

hmm. cool test this time it was on the big fish in the computer nerd industry.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I wonder how 100% of respondents knew that Dell Computers was founded by Michael Dell, but didn't know that HP (Hewlitt-Packard) was founded by William Hewlitt and David Packard. I'm not even going to try to address the knowledge levels of those who didn't know Bill Gates was a co-founder of Microsoft, or that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple. They must be just visiting the site.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I'll try to come up with enough companies like this to make up another quiz. Thanks!

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

IBM's history doesn't point to a single "founder". Willard and Harlow Bundy did start Bundy Manufacturing Company, which made time clocks. But, inventors like Herman Hollerith and Dr. Alexander Dey would also play key roles. The IBM we think of today was formed through the acquisition and merger of several companies, such as the Dey Time Recording Company, the Frick Manufacturing Company, the Standard Time Stamp Company, and the Chicago Time Register Company. Eventually, these mergers and acquisitions would create the three companies (International Time Recording Company, the Computing Scale Company of America, and Herman Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company) that became the Computing- Tabulating- Recording Company, IBM's predecessor. While it's true that you can trace IBM's roots to several individuals, they don't fit squarely into the definition of "IBM founder". IBM's online archives provide much more detail: http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/index.html

rmerchberger
rmerchberger

The people that didn't know HP stood for Hewlitt-Packard may not have the answers -- does HP use anything other than "HP" in their documentation, advertising, etc? Granted, this is still a rather recent change (5-7 years or so, eh?) some newer people getting into computers may not know the origins of HP. This is akin to most people nowadays not knowing that Nabisco was (is?) actually short for National Biscuit Company... The Gates / Jobs / Wozniak incorrect answers I'd attribute to sarcasm more than anything, however, and anyone not knowing who founded Dell probably wouldn't know the color of George Washington's white horse, either. ;-) "Merch"

thehumanyawn
thehumanyawn

If you couldn't figure out Hewlett-Packard then your hope as a human being has been lost. To a lesser extent, I'm disappointed in those who couldn't figure out Gordon Moore co-founded Intel (Moore's law).

elangomatt
elangomatt

I wonder how 2 people got that one wrong even, unless they just didn't like how obvious the answer was and just wanted to go against the herd.

dhays
dhays

Since we had a contract with AT&T for computers some of our first PC's were branded NCR. NCR took a little of Western Electric with them when they were spun off.

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