if your clients have to Google every second word you say during a meeting, chances are they’re missing your pitch. The more businesses that make a successful digital transition, or at least understand technology, the brighter all our futures will be.
So this week’s blog is a (lighthearted!) A-Z of Startup terminology for business*
Actionable. Workable. Startups prefer ‘actionable’ because it sounds dynamic, not just practical. Sometimes that’s understandable, for example: “Ten actionable pieces of social media content” sounds more impressive than “Ten Tweets you can copy and paste”.
Bootstrapped. The Startup is self-funded (i.e. pulling themselves up by their bootstraps). To achieve this, they have sold all their furniture and that’s why when you go round to meet them, you have to sit on a milk crate.
Crowdsourcing. The Startup asked a bunch of people for advice or information. This used to be known as ‘polling’ or ‘calling in favours’.
Disruptive. This doesn’t mean Startup founders talk on their phone at the back of meetings and throw Mentos wrappers (well, not always). It means they wake up one morning and decide to change every little thing about the market in which your company operates. Which can be rather inconvenient.
Entrepreneur. A person who has had an idea and turned it into a business.
Evangelist. Someone who sells a product by telling people how good they think it is. If people actually listen to them, they are an Evangelist. If not, they are ‘that guy who keeps banging on about that App’.
Full Stack developer. A Jack/Jill of all IT languages (i.e. someone who is doing several people’s jobs).
Growth Hacker. A Sales/ Marketing person. Nothing to do with that (now hilariously dated) film with Angelina Jolie.
Hackathon. A large gathering where people get together to collaboratively solve problems and make software. There is usually a prize for the best solution. In any other area of life this is known as a ‘contest’.
Influencer. Someone who has so many followers on social media, people will pay them to pretend to like their product or speak at conferences. Influencers are not Evangelists – Evangelists will bang on about your product whether you pay them or not.
Lean. As in ‘has no money’, rather than ‘thin’. In my twenties I was both ‘lean’ and thin. The two things were related and involved eating nothing but beans on toast.
MVP. Stands for ‘Minimum Viable Product’. The basic functional product you’ll get for your money. Bells and whistles cost extra and you’ll probably want them once you’ve seen the MVP.
Newsjacking. Reactive PR. Getting in on someone else’s story with a quote.
Onboarding. A welcome to a new client or employee; much like when you go on a cruise and they give you a free cocktail when you first step on board. After that, all cocktails are charged.
Pivot. When a Startup has a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment and changes their business model overnight.
Runway. How long a Startup has until they run out of money and the bailiffs come for the milk crates.
SEO. ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ – using techniques and keywords to make your website easier to find on Google or Yahoo.
#SPON. A sponsored post. This person is being paid actual money or receiving stuff in-kind to write that tweet/Instagram post. In real life, they probably don’t even like natural yoghurt flavour vitamins.
Thought Leader. An expert people actually listen to.
UX. Stands for ‘user experience’. A UX Designer tries to anticipate what people might think about and need when they’re using your website. You might think a web designer would do that automatically. You would be wrong.
Vertical. A business sector. As in ‘I am working in the gaming vertical’ (trans. ‘I help make computer games’).
Viral. Much like an actual disease, something only goes ‘viral’ when it has been shared by an enormous number of people. You can’t make a ‘viral video’; you can only make a good video and hope it goes viral. Just by introducing it into the ecosystem, doesn’t guarantee it will get picked up and shared. It might just be you that gets it.
* OK, it’s A-V, not A-Z. Feel free to make suggestions for W, X, Y and Z in the comments!
Liz first learned to build websites using HTML and CSS back in 2000 and now spends much of her time helping ease established businesses into the digital age and working with Tech clients to reach established businesses.