Buzzwords: Side Hustle

Hustling by itself may have a negative connotation, but co-opting the term seems to mirror the millennial tendency to reclaim edgy words.

Jul 5, 2018 Eva Roethler

Buzzwords: Algorithm

According to a study by Big Data & Society entitled “Algorithms in Culture,” algorithms have graduated from purely technical jargon into the realm of cultural influence and should be studied anthropologically.

Jun 14, 2018 Eva Roethler

Buzzwords: Ping

People are either pro-ping, or they are anti-ping.

A 2017 Summit Hosting survey of 1,000 Americans placed “Ping me” among the three least acceptable buzzwords used in the workplace, alongside “LOL” and “Growth Hack.” Yet, still it persists. Why?

May 7, 2018 Eva Roethler

Buzzwords: Deep Dive

Today, “deep dive” has evolved away from its branded roadmap and into an eponym for robust, immersive analysis.

Apr 19, 2018 Eva Roethler

Buzzwords: Open Source

At first encounter, open source sounds like something an avid yogi might achieve en route to nirvana. In reality, it’s a reaction to a particular kind of tech-induced headache.

Mar 22, 2018 Eva Roethler

Buzzwords: Revolutionary

The infomercial world is full of goods that will purportedly forever alter the way you mop, do your laundry, cook eggs, exercise and listen to music.

But are those products truly revolutionary? More importantly, can a product or service truly be revolutionary at all?

Feb 15, 2018 Jennifer Newman

Buzzwords: Change Agent

In the entrepreneurial realm, everyone wants to be a change agent. With disruptors like Elon Musk — who brought us Tesla and the concept of terraforming Mars — raising the stakes on the definition of the word, the startup landscape is overflowing with wannabe-visionaries claiming to change the world.

But, what does the term really mean?

Jan 25, 2018 Jennifer Newman

Buzzwords: Influencer

In recent years, with the rise of social networking, the business world has embraced a modern form of evangelism, making the word synonymous with an entirely new brand of evangelist: the influencer.

Dec 14, 2017 Jennifer Newman

Buzzwords: Pain Point

A problem thought to be facing a person or group of people that entrepreneurs are looking to solve through goods and/or services.

Nov 17, 2017 Jennifer Newman

Buzzwords: Frothy

The market conditions preceding a bubble, where prices are overvalued and driven up, thanks to unsustainable demand.

Oct 19, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Scalable

An ability to invest time and energy in systems that allow small businesses to grow while still handling increased demands.

Sep 8, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Bootstrap

The process of starting a business on a shoestring budget without external help or capital. Such startups fund the development of their company through internal cash flow.​

Aug 14, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Unicorn

A company, usually a tech start-up, without an established performance record, but with a stock market valuation estimated at more than $1 billion.

Jul 12, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Pivot

Generally refers to a shift in entrepreneurial approach; describes the strategy most businesses employ to find the right customer, value proposition and positioning

For this month’s column, I thought I’d reach out to people who made multi-tasking an artform and get them to explain how they so easily “pivot” from one task to another on a daily basis. But I found out that’s only one definition of pivot, and so I pivoted this column to another, more business-oriented version. (See what I did there?)

Jun 5, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Bandwidth

In a tweet from March 2015, Forbes magazine called bandwidth a “geeky, pretentious shorthand for available manpower,” saying it was “a gentler brushoff than ‘We literally don’t have the energy to deal right now.’”

Apr 28, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Disruption

To be disruptive now means to change things, to get people to look at something in a new light. (I’d like to go back and convince my 6-year-old self that it’s actually a good trait that got me sent to the time-out chair.)

Like all jargon, “disruption” started out well-intentioned: Who doesn’t want to be the one with the fresh vision of how things could be — not how they are?

Mar 31, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Ecosystem

Generally speaking, an ecosystem describes how different, complex organisms work together. How could a deeply biological term have invaded the usually-technical jargon of business? According to Google Trends, searches for “business ecosystem” and “innovation ecosystem” first entered the lexicon in the late ’90s and hit a peak within the last year.

Feb 28, 2017 Robin Epley

Buzzwords: Elevator Pitch

It happens every time: I’ll be at a business event and someone will inevitably say that we all need to “perfect our elevator pitches” and launch into a rote explanation (an elevator pitch of the elevator pitch, if you will). Cue the over-exaggerated rolling of my eyes.

Dec 15, 2016 Robin Epley