By profession a Content Evangelist, so playing with words is something I love. It’s almost like a hobby to learn up new words, have my own set of vocabs to add a pinch of masala to my stories.
However, words just like other things in the world are never constant. It is hammered, polished and re-hammered to craft new terms.
And the toughest of vocabulary is there in the business world. All twisted like a pretzel. Believe me.
As the financial year comes to an end and when there is a ruckus about the Union Budget - it seems like Startups and wannabe-entrepreneurs have already sat to sketch the first business plan for their new setup. Trust me these startups have a different world. Unusual terms to define business, a whole set of ‘lexicon’ of their own. If you come across them or have a conversation, you can feel a dip of few vocabs.
My interest in growth hacking made me start working with a startup app development company, for the last few years. And now I’m a pro in startup terms.
I guess there are at least a hundred of them. Even I came across a post in YourStory that tells about must-known startup terms in 2016. But in 2018, there’s some more, which I would like to add along with this list and it’s sure to confuse you at a first glance.
(A Secret to Share*** If you master the latest jargon of the startup world, then you can impress any VC for series of D funds.)
Are you ready to take the hell ride with me? If you’re sure to launch your startup in 2018, this A-Z list will come HANDY.
Accelerator - No I am not talking about your car accelerator. Accelerator or Incubator is the main center where startups are incubated, mentored and, even funded. This program is designed to grow a startup at a rapid pace.
Alpha Test - It is nothing but a trial for a software, a product or maybe a machinery carried out by a developer before the product comes out in the market.
Accredited Investor - Any individual potentially interested in the company and can deal with securities not registered with the financial authorities. They can satisfy any one of the requirements like income, net worth, asset size, professional experience etc.
Advertorials - Paid content that you need to brew. You need to make it feel like a real story or a blog post. As display ads effectiveness has ceased, so more companies like to turn towards advertorials to grab ad revenue.
B2B and B2C - B2B means business to business which defines startup business model that sell products or services to other companies. B2C means business to consumer and it means to sell products and services to the public.
Bleeding Edge - This is an extremely grand way of saying about the front line since every startup presumes that he or she has already reached there.
Buyout - This indicates the purchase of a company’s shares in which the acquiring part gains control over the targeted firm.
Bridge Loan - This is also known as a swing loan, which is a short-term loan to bridge the gap between major financing.
Cliff - A term appropriate for vesting schedules. These are shares given to employee over the time. Cliff is a process by which a CEO can fire his or her employees or ask them to leave without giving their stock. (But this should be carried out in a period of one year of establishment) Cliffs are used on CEOs by the angel investors to make sure the CEO sticks after receiving the funds.
Co-Invest - It is nothing but minority investment made directly to an operating startup, besides a financial sponsor or another private equity investor in a leveraged buyout, or for recapitalization.
CAC - Customer acquisition cost or CAC. It asks for the amount you need to pay for marketing and sales in order to acquire one user. For example, if I am Spotify and I need to have a Facebook Ad, which costs 30 USD to get 10 new customers.
Capped Notes - It refers to “cap” placed on investor notes in a round of financing. Entrepreneurs and investor likely to place the cap on the valuation of the company where notes are sure to run into equity. This indicates that the investors will own a certain percentage of the company relative to the cap when the company raises another round of funds.
Crushing It - How will you reply to a common question like this - “How is your company doing?” that too without answering the question. - It’s better to say “Oh, we’re crushing it.” It denotes - they usually want to mean, but they’re not.
Cottage Business - Well it is a nice business, but not something massive. If you run something scalable, then you’re not a dish for the VC. However, that should not stop you from pursuing your dream.
Decacorns - This is a common term we use for companies valued at over $10 Billion. Some of the popular members of the club include WhatsApp and Snapchat.
Digital Nomad - A common term we used to describe someone who works online and often works from home or maybe in a coworking space or based abroad. Yes, someone you watched, while peeping inside Starbucks Coffee shop with a laptop open in front of him.
Disruptive - Disruptive means game-changing. It is something when a startup sets out to revolutionize their sector or industry.
Dave Ratio - It is nothing but a method by which people can work out on the gender parity in an organization by comparing the number of women to men.
Dragon - Unicorn is an unlisted startup that achieved a valuation of over $1 Billion based on the funds raised. Whereas a “Dragon” is a startup that raises $1 Billion from investors in a single round.
Ephemeral - It starts with something that disappears especially the story of Snapchat, the way it disappeared.
Gamify - It is the application of elements of game playing such as point scoring, competing with others etc. This is nothing but an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with your product or service.
Honeypot - This is a highly attractive way to offer something to user or entice a specific set of audience.
Hackathon - This is a day-long competition especially observed on weekends to create software and hardware products.
Iterate - In startup industry, we often used this term to try something new. Even if it goes wrong we must try again and in a slightly different way with the hope to achieve a better result.
IPO - Welcome to the stock market that’s what IPO or Initial Public Offering tells and introduces us as soon as we rope our Startup in the busy market.
IP - Intellectual Property or IP can be a patent or maybe the secret sauce or never to reveal recipes like KFC's. You would not find every startup having IP, but if your business depends on it, you need to protect it.
Liquidation - This is nothing but an event that occurs usually when a startup is insolvent and cannot pay the obligations as and when they come due. Dissolving the company by selling all the assets of a failed startup.
Lean Startup - This is a method to develop businesses and products first coined by Eric Ries. The main focus of the lean startup is to prove the business concept as quickly as possible and in a clear manner. Explaining the concept of a minimum viable product and nothing else.
LTV - LTV or Lifetime Value of Customer such as if I run a popular startup and I acquire a new paid user, who pays me 5 USD/month and will be using my service for 20 months - so what will be his LTV = 100 USD.
Longtail - A popular phrase coined by Chris Anderson in the year 2004. You will find Anderson argued that the products in low demand or have low sales can collectively that scores a market share or exceeds the current best sellers, but in case the distribution channel is large enough.
Market Penetration - You need to know how much potential market are you capturing and how quickly will you do that. VCs will show an interest to know and for that, you just do not say “ we might capture 1% of the market…” - as VCs want you to get a lot more than that.
Mezzanine Financing - A type of hybrid capital used to fund a startup in their adolescent stage. A popular form of debt financing that also includes equity options. But with this startups no longer stay as a budding company but it is yet to go public, thus typically gets referred as “mezzanine” companies.
Opium - Opium or “others people’s money” comes in the shape of seed and series of X investments. It is something incredible and addictive to entrepreneurs that are hardly respected or dries up until we miss it or it dries up.
PoC - Proof of Concept or PoC is a complete cycle that proves your idea that might work for at least one customer. VCs require proof of concept if you wish to pitch your Startup.
Pro Rata Rights - As the word pro-rata means "staying in proportion." So a VC with their pro-rata rights gets an option to increase the ownership of his or her company during the subsequent rounds of startup funding.
Quinquagintacorn – It is a popular term used for a Startup that is worth $50 Billion or more. The best example for Quinquagintacorn is Uber.
Ramen Profitable - The profits which are enough to cover the cost and basic living expenses for everyone working inside the Startup.
Runaway - How much time you have in your hand until the cash runs out of your hand and you must turn off the lights.
Scale Up - This is a process by which a startup can plan to grow in terms of size, market, and their demography.
Stealth Mode - This is the process to run a startup keeping its product or services under the wraps, so it does not allow a potential competition. Example an airplane flying under the radar.
Space - It means referring to the market or industry and often saved for the new emerging market and its variety of segments. Such as we’re focused on the social commerce space.
Unicorpse - A startup buzz term raking the industry since the last quarter of 2017. Unicorpse is none but those former unicorns, who are now valued less than $1 Billion. The best example of this stance is Snapdeal from India.
Vanity Metrics - This is nothing but the statistics often used to show the growth of a startup that hardly means anything. Such as the Twitter impressions of a startup.
Viral Mechanics - This is a simple technique embedded in your application to get more users through referrals like Dropbox asks to invite more than 10 friends to get some extra space in their place.
Vesting Period - It is a time period when an investor holding a right to its company forced to wait until they are able to fulfill and exercise their rights to the fullest.
Vaporware - The product you are selling, but you have not made it and neither in future, you will develop one. It is a way to test market your demand, though you might find it a little sleazy, so you must pick up the concept.
We’re the X of X - Used by the upcoming startups when they compare themselves to a bigger and established brand since they don’t have any other word to explain their business. Say “I am the Uber for your Laundry” or “We’re the Dropbox for Serial Entrepreneurs”.
Zombies - They are yet another form of startupreneurs who takes pride in the fact that they will never tell, “I will shut down my startup.” Even though the business hits a dead end and falters to show growth, but still drags itself with a hope that things will get better someday.