What a language! Love it!
Here some buzzwords we fell in love with.
- 800 Pound Gorilla.
- Pedal to the Medal.
- Push the Envelope.
- Helicopter View.
- On the same Page.
Here some buzzwords we believe to be simply boring.
- Vertical Integration.
- Low hanging Fruits
Here some explanation, in case you seek venture capital investments.
- Accelerator (aka Incubator) = Not part of a car as one might assume, but a center where start-ups are “incubated” through mentorship, space and sometimes cash.
- Accredited Investor = A rich individual potentially interested in investing in your company. Or, more technically, according to the SEC: “A natural person with income exceeding $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with spouse exceeding $300,000 for those years and a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year; or A natural person who has individual net worth, or joint net worth with the person’s spouse, that exceeds $1 million at the time of the purchase, excluding the value of the primary residence of such person.” What this means for your start-up is you must require potential investors to prove that they can afford to risk their money in your start-up, in order to comply with the law.
- Advertorials / Advertainment = Paid content that is meant to look and feel like a real story or blog post. More people are fooled than you’d think – or as the “tainment” part implies, readers are interested enough that they don’t care that they are being pitched. As display ad pricing and effectiveness have decreased, more companies are turning to advertorials to capture ad revenue.
- Bleeding Edge = My favorite definition of this came from Quin Woodward Pu from OMA: “An extremely pretentious way of saying on the vanguard since every person in start-ups thinks he or she is there.”
- Boot-Strapping = Using “friends and family” cash to get going. As Carey Martell, Founder of Power Up TV put it, “Boot-strapping a startup means ramen noodle days. Every time you want to splurge on something you think, ‘Well I could have that $20 steak dinner, or I could hire a virtual assistant from the Philippines.’” (See Ramen Profitable below).
- Burn Rate (aka Run Rate) = How fast you are blowing through your cash. It’s not unusual for a start-up to lose large sums of money for several years before breaking even, or — please oh please — making a profit. (See runway below).
- Churn Rate = Customers lost subsequent to acquisition in a subscription-based business model. Because of the churn rate, your growth might not look like you think it will.
- Cliff = Usually applies to vesting schedules (shares given to employees over time). Cliffs are a way for the CEO to fire employees or let them leave without giving them stock within a limited period of time (usually 1 year). Cliffs are also used on CEOs by investors to make sure the CEO sticks around after getting the cash.
- Cottage Business/ Cottage Industry = A nice business but not something massively scalable. If you have one, you’re not a good fit for VC, but this does not mean you should not pursue your dream or that you will not be very successful!
- Deck (aka Pitch Deck) = A 10-slide power point presentation that covers all aspects of your business in a concise and compelling way. There is a standard format and real artistry to making a good deck. Do your homework, get lots of feedback, and consider hiring a graphic designer to polish the final version.
- FMA = First Mover Advantage. Not every start-up is the first to market, but if you are, you want to point that out to investors. Be aware that this can be both a pro and con, as you may have to educate your market as you go, so the sales you make will cost more than they would in a market with clearly established demand.
This is Christopher Bennett´s view on wrong usage of buzzwords.
- Leverage – I don’t know how this got to mean „take advantage of,“ but it happened. Please only use this if you’re an investment banker working with debt.
- Sync – save it for iPhones or iPods please. Don’t „sync up with me“ or „sync up with me later.“
- Offline When during a meeting two people digress and realize that they have, they say that „well talk about this offline.“ You already are offline, jackass.
- Wired in – I think the social network made this popular, but I haven’t really heard programmers use this. People who don’t code ask „are you wired in?“ No I _was_ working, but now you’re just interrupting.
- Crowd-source(ing)‚: this is a legitimate description of Wikipedia. it is probably not an accurate description of your startup. most annoying when it’s used synonymously with „contribution“, like ‚hey, we can get our fans to ‚crowdsource‘ content for us by posting on our Facebook page‘, or ‚hey, let’s get some feedback from users and crowd-source our next decision on the product.‘
- A ‚hyper‘ version of X. Especially bad when combined with another adjective rather than noun, e.g. hyper-local, hyper-contextual, hyper-dynamic, whatever. What the hell does this mean? It’s honestly just a synonym for ‚really‘ or ‚very‘. If anyone can come up with a better grammatical explanation please let me know..
- An ‚800 pound gorilla.‘. usually applied to Google, Facebook, or Amazon, or some other tech titan that’s gonna ‚disrupt‘ a new industry or gonna take out a bunch of startups. I get the analogy, but do we really have to refer to every major company by this same metaphor? Really guys?
- Silo– as in ‚It’s too bad Facebook’s content/Twitter’s content/whatever.. is in a silo/silo’ed.“ Often accompanied by the phrases „convergence“ or „cross-platform integration.“Umm.. the only relevant context of silo is something that holds grain, or water. Please never say this again.
- The ‚x for y‘ analogies.. IE we’re a quora/groupon/netflix for porn/child slavery/hacking. This site is pretty hilarious:
- ‚Gamify/Gamification‘. Ostensibly, if your product now includes a leaderboard, badges, competition of some variety, it is now a game (and has now been ‚gamified‘ the verb variety). Most obnoxious when combined with the phrases ’social media marketing‘ and ’natural virality.‘
Dean Jones shares some insights on past presentations.
- My name is T. Neck… and today I will be providing you with a helicopter view of our bleeding edge, market leading startup, ‚DisinterYOUdiate’…. a startup going forward in the social space and securing mindshare through providing thought leadership and employing ninja-like best practices in un-usability effectively disintermediating the disintermediate process in the process of disintermediation thus cutting out the cutting out of the middle man, effectively putting the man back in the middle creating more jobs for the middle man.Now… before I get started, I would like to push the envelope and ensure we are all on the same page here… that is that today’s presentation facilitates a win-win scenario for all parties involved… a 1+1=3 situation if you will.
- Our first action item is to hit the ground running with an epic, backward compatible, turnkey solution at the tipping point of change management in the emerging market of product and service development silo’s that will achieve critical mass and crush it like a rock star.
- Today we will be „opening the kimono“ allegorically speaking… showing transparency and organisational openness as we share our internal processes.
- Forget this being a Google-killer, iPhone-killer or even Quora-killer… this is an Anything-killer that even the guru’s, maven’s and diva’s agree will take user-generated content traction to the next level.
- You may be thinking… „I/we just don’t have the bandwidth right now“. Well… this scalable, enabling, minimalistic technology is so disruptive that it is a hyphen-killer… able to pivot, leverage, hack and curate unwanted hyphens seamlessly… and in doing so reduce bandwidth usage. Less hyphens = less bandwidth. Simple really.
- In order to ensure we gain maximum mindshare and a stealth-like product-market fit, we will incentivize new users through the freemium model, that in turn will go after the long tail in the hyper local, hyper social, hyper mobile, hyper-hyper-hyper (or Hyper 3.0) market and while doing so collect all the low hanging fruit baskets.
- There are many challenges facing the 2.0 space right now… be it the 800 pound Gorilla’s in the midst… or finding new ways to pro-actively, vertically integrate a larger number of higher yielding buzzwords in to our collective intellectual capital. Unconference… there… that didn’t hurt a bit now did it.
- We see this not as a challenge… but a game-changing opportunity to correlate a paradigm shift to the market with a breakthrough we have been able to engineer to seamlessly bridge any cloud based interaction with of all things, the internet of things. It truly represents the next generation of solutions for gamification.
- We can offer you, the investor, this ground floor opportunity to get positioned in this pre-launch company before it goes hockey stick.
Have a nice day!