The TechSpeak To English Dictionary

By Francisco Dao , written on September 11, 2012

From The News Desk

Since there are so many buzzwords in tech, I figured it was time someone made a handy guide that gives the actual, easy to understand translations of what people really mean when they use a term. Without further delay, I present the TechSpeak to english dictionary.

Pivot: Our original idea failed so we had to choose between “pivot” and “serial entrepreneurs.”

Serial Entrepreneur: I’ve failed repeatedly and “multiple pivots” didn’t sound as catchy.

Gamification: We realized our product had no legitimate purpose of any kind so we had to pretend it was a game.

Hacker (1995): I’m on the FBI watch list for breaking into government networks.

Hacker (2012): I took an online course in Ruby.

Crowdfunding: Begging for money on the internet.

Interested Investors: I think I have Dave McClure’s email address.

SoLoMo: We’re not really sure what this means but VCs seem to like it. We think it has something to do with daily deals on an iPhone.

Innovator: This is just something I call myself so I can feel special.

Pirate: This is what I call myself on days when I need an extra boost of self esteem and “innovator” just isn’t cutting it.

World Changer: This is what I call myself when my self esteem has really hit rock bottom, like when the bitter realization sinks in that it’s been over a year since I’ve had a date.

Board of Advisors: People who’ve agreed to have coffee with me.

Mobile Ecosystem: We built an app.

NextGen Web: We built an app.

Integrated User Experience: We built an app AND a website!!

Disruptive Innovation: We’re going to use the Internet to mail you things like underwear in a box. Welcome to the future.

Lean Startup: We have no money.

Non-technical: I have nothing to contribute until after the product launches.

Strategist: I’m also “non-technical,” but for the record I only give orders and refuse to do any actual work even after the product launches.

Visionary: I’m a “Strategist” who’s also a pompous ass.

Escape Velocity: This is the point where our company starts making money, which is “never” but we didn’t want to put “never” on the Powerpoint deck.

Industry Veteran: I graduated from college in the previous decade, as in 2009.

Seasoned Executive: I was the “CEO” of my Startup Weekend team.

Hustle/Hustler/Hustlin’: I post this on Facebook so people think I’m working hard. I also think it makes me look cool, like I’m kind of hip-hop but still respectable.

Monetize: Something we don't know how to do.

Business Model: Huh? I don’t understand. This is Web 2.0!

Actual Business Model: Keep raising money until someone buys the company.

Minimum Viable Product: Our product is total crap. God bless Eric Ries for giving us an acceptable excuse for launching something so completely shitty.

Cloud Computing/In the Cloud: The place where we steal user data.

Total Users: Everyone we’ve ever tricked into landing on our website.

Engaged Users: Did we tell you how many total users we have? We like that number better.

And the number one term that needs to be translated into English?

Growth Hacker: Last year I was known as a social media expert (see smanker). I thought growth hacker sounded more impressive and I’m hoping it’ll keep the gravy train of “consulting” going for another year.

[Illustration by Hallie Bateman]