7 Most Abused Words in the Startup 'Ecosystem'

Jargons are important. They make you feel intelligent. Sprinkling your talk with a few 'buzz words' makes it all the more meaningful. Content is crucial but nothing like a generous use of terminologies that only a select few can digest. And when you're talking business, you need to be bang on the money with high flying words. Talking generally, 'love' is believed to be the most abused word. We, entrenched in the startup world, thought of digging out some words which have been rendered powerless with overuse:

1) Ecosystem

noun. a system  formed by the interaction of a community of organismswith their environment.

We all know what an ecosystem means but we've just overdone it with the startup 'ecosystem'. It was a pleasant sounding word at one point in time but now, it manages to repel most. By no doubt, Ecosystem claims the number one position!

2) Trends and Insights

noun. the general course or prevailing tendency

noun. an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing,especially through intuitive understanding

These two words go hand in hand. It has become a trend to derive insights from everything a person says. Everyone is looking for trends and insights. Are they so conclusive? There has been no decisive insight to prove that fact but we'll keep looking for trends.

3) Go To Market

wikipedia. channels, a company will use to connect with its customers/business

This might be a daily routine chore for a house wife (or a house husband) but in the startup ecosystem 'go to market' is what keeps the team up all night. Everyone asks them, "What is your GTM?" Many even confuse it with what the housewife does but they all use it. They all have a GTM slide in their PPT and discuss for hours together. Well, let's just go to the market.

4) Market Research

wikipedia. organized effort to gather information about markets or customers

Okay, now that we're in the market, should we do some research? If you believe so, you couldn't be more wrong. Market research is something that you do first and this term is rife with use; especially famous with B-Schools (which can be blamed on Philip Kotler). A very necessary term, hard to avoid but it's time we found an alternative buzzword.

5) Pivot

verb. to turn on

Pivot is the new poster boy in the startup lingo. It's everywhere these days; they're all pivoting. A few more pivots and they'll start dancing soon. Used to mean a change in the direction of a business plan, pivoting has certainly become trend. How about doing some market research first and then going to market so that we don't pivot?

6) Niche

adjective. pertaining to or intended for a market niche; having specific appeal

They're all carving a niche. In the desperate attempt to find differentiators, bplans cling on to the word 'niche' to sail them home. We all want to be different and they also say that we're all unique in our own ways but still the fight rages on. Yes, the market is competitive, but let's just once in a while except that we're not carving a niche, we're trying to do something better.

7) Deep Dive

wikipedia. perform an extensive analysis of a subject or problem

We thought of including 'big picture' but it has been beaten up beyond the point of being considered here. It is not even an idiom anymore. Looking at this big picture, we did a deep dive and there we found it. Deep Dive! We're are snorkeling and deep diving. A necessity before taking a serious step ahead, deep diving helps you in looking before leaping. But let's not just be caught looking, let's do it!

All these words mentioned above haven't been a fling; they've all been there from quite some time, made their presence felt and scaled. An inseparable part from the startup ecosystem, these words might take a lot of time to dilute their equity. But there are more words competing for the glory: global, hyper, churn rates, getting your hands dirty, drawing board, hands on, etc. Let's see, who is more sticky? Hope this serves as a good big picture of the startup ecosystem lingo.


Updates from around the world