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Startup Jargon Decoded: Future Ready Businesses Event

Mo Works
Mo Works
14 Jun 2016 • 4 min read

The second event in our Future Ready Businesses event series delved into the secret language of startups.

The second event in our Future Ready Businesses event series delved into the secret language of startups to reveal the hidden similarities between startup speak and traditional business jargon.

We gathered together business people, entrepreneurs and other curious minds at Hatch Quarter for the second instalment of our Future Ready Businesses event series, Master Startup Jargon. Having worked within the startup community, we know how tricky and intimidating their jargon can be to people who aren’t familiar with the lingo. So we set out to translate a few commonly used words and phrases into everyday English, to make the startup world a little less scary and unusual. As it turned out, the language and strategies startups use aren’t as different from traditional business strategies as you may think.

The evening kicked off with a presentation from our very own web developer, Nathan, who has worked with a number of startups and has a keen interest in startup culture. He summed jargon up perfectly by stating that not only is it defined as ‘language used for a particular activity by a particular group of people’ but also ‘confused unintelligible language’.

Jargon may be a handy way to describe complex ideas, but it has a tendency to make things a lot more complicated if you’re not in the know. For established businesses, this can make startups seem a lot more incontestable than they may be. When really, a lot of the concepts are borrowed from corporate jargon that’s been around for years.

Startup and Corporate Jargon Side-By-Side

To demonstrate this point, Nathan compared startup jargon with traditional business language and the results were eye-opening.

Startupcorporate words w640

Let’s Talk Money

Next to be put under the microscope was startup jargon related specifically to investment. These terms may not have a direct corporate equivalent, but most of us will recognise these concepts when they’re broken down.

Startup investment terms w640

Startups’ Secret Language

Although there are many similarities between startup jargon and business language, there are a few terms startups seem to hold exclusively for themselves. We explored three of these concepts:

Lean

  • Maximise customer value while minimising waste

  • Remove all work from the process that isn’t aimed at learning about how to give your customers more value

  • Make all decisions based upon what you find out about customers and what they do, so you don’t make mistaken assumptions

Testing

  • Get feedback early and often when developing a new product

  • Can be related to usability testing or simply asking opinions

  • Generates new, sometimes surprising, insights into potential issues and possible solutions

MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

  • Basic version of the product that allows the team to gather information about the customers without needing to develop the full product

  • Doesn’t even have to be a product, it could be a video that explains a concept or a series of mock-ups

Going through these three concepts in a little more depth helped us better understand the strategies startups use to develop the best product possible. There’s no reason why these strategies couldn’t work just as well for bigger businesses.

Insights from a Startup Founder: Loretta from Let’s Meet At

To tie all this together, we were lucky enough to hear a few stories from Loretta, founder of Melbourne based startup Let’s Meet At. Loretta admitted that jargon almost put her off starting her own business, until she realised that the terms people were throwing at her were just new words for concepts she was already familiar with. From that point on, she learnt to trust her instincts and marketing background to develop her foodie social network platform into something she would be excited to use herself.

Join Us Next Time

After such a successful second event, we’re excited to start planning the third instalment of our Future Ready Businesses event series. In the meantime, you can visit our landing page for more information about the Future Ready concept and sign up for our Meetup group to keep up to date with upcoming events.

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