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January 11, 2005

Buzzword Bingo and Jarbarish

I just received a PowerPoint from an analyst and in it they had a table of "Buzzword Bingo" with some of the current hot words.  Words like .Net, Self Healing, On Demand and Seemless Computing.  These words actually have meaning but a few years ago I started collecting words and phrases that have little or no meaning, but are used way too often in business presentations.

I even came up with a new name for these words and phrases - Jarbarish.  It is a combination of the words jargon and gibberish.  I was showing the list to my wife (who also hates it when people don't say what they mean) and I started rattling off a little speech that only used my Jarbarish list and meant nothing.  At Gold Systems' last company meeting I gave a similar speech using the list to try to lighten things up and hopefully to remind people to speak clearly.

I collected every word or phrase from real sales and marketing presentations.  I believe that the lesson learned is to speak plainly.  Most people are not really impressed by Jarbarish.  If you are a VC, you must get this all the time.  Try counting the number of times you hear these words in a presentation, and if I've missed any please comment.

Bingo Jarbarish by Terry Gold



24x7 we must be taking the 30,000 foot view so that at the end of the day we can perform the balancing act between developing the best of breed while doing the basic blocking and tackling.  We’ll carry the day as long as we circle the wagons around our core business and our core competency.

There are many data points to suggest that disruptive innovations will allow us to divide and conquer our competitors.  It may feel like we are drinking from a fire hose but as long as we hold back our dry powder and focus it on our eBusiness, etc, etc, we can even the playing field.  We’ll need feet on the street to present the many flavors of our applications.  Frankly we’re going to need a lot more full-time equivalents in the future.

We’re going to get under the covers with our customers to develop a go to market strategy that will bloody the nose of our competitors.  I’m giving you the green light to go after green field customers.  Have a dialog with them, do the heavy lifting and soon we’ll see our sales hockey stick.  We’re going to huddle up our human capital for the dogfight, and I sincerely believe that we will win this fight in the margins.  We’ll integrate our investments in knowledge transfer to be the leading provider, and we WILL NOT leave money on the table.

Let me share with you how we will level the playing field and leverage our advantage.  We’ll look at the landscape to achieve mindshare so that we can monetize the click stream.  There is a moose on the table and it is as important as motherhood and apple pie that we nail that down.  Our sales need to go north and to the right.  It is not an option, but also it is not rocket science.  It is on your plate, so you can be out of pocket to think out of the box.  I want to see good ideas, not just something flung over the transom.  There is a real paradigm shift going on here. 

We need to partner to peel back the onion and pick up the shovel.  If we can’t get to all of the good ideas we’ll put them in the parking lot so that we can put the most wood behind our arrows QUOTE UNQUOTE.  (Said while making air-quotes)  So I’m raising the red flag that we need more resources to do the work that is behind this sea change.  We need skin in the game to find the solution that is soup to nuts.  It may take on a couple of flavors but we will tap new people to put their thinking cap on.  This is the tip of the iceberg and to be honest there will be many touch points for us to get traction, but there is great upside opportunity and value-add.  The value proposition is win-win, there is business to be had in the white space and we WILL NOT get wrapped around our own axle.

Update #1 10/30/2009 - thanks to Bob for this catch - "Terry, Great stuff! Nit alert: minor typo in the last paragraph "... peal back the onion" s/b "peel back". You peal a set of bells and peel an onion. Thanks for my laugh of the day."

January 11, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink


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» Tired of Corporate from Brian Swanson
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Tracked on Jan 11, 2005 8:22:53 PM

» Jarbarish from VC Adventure
Fred Wilson has done a very amusing series of posts on VC Clichés (see the latest here) Terry Gold takes this to another level with what he has termed Jarbarish (a blend of jargon and gibberish). [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 18, 2005 9:20:07 AM

» Buzz words, jargon, and gibberish from Patent Chronicles
I don't normally just cross-post (I try to add something to the conversation - hopefully with some analysis), but this post rang true to me. From Terry Gold a great post on Jarbarish (combination of jargon and gibberish). To be complete, I found this ... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 18, 2005 1:50:30 PM


There's a "phrase" that is WAY over used in the company I work for...

"To Bob's point..." "To Jill's point..."

Often these people didn't really have a point they just made a comment about the current topic of discussion

Posted by: Brian Swanson | Jan 12, 2005 5:37:33 PM

Great post! I like the way you synergized jargon and gib...

Dammit! Now I'm doing it!

Posted by: Max Leibman | Oct 23, 2005 11:09:58 PM

Great stuff!

Nit alert: minor typo in the last paragraph "... peal back the onion" s/b "peel back". You peal a set of bells and peel an onion.

Thanks for my laugh of the day.

Posted by: Bob | Oct 30, 2009 7:11:03 AM

The best way to eliminate all these cliches and buzzwords is to work smarter

Posted by: art | Apr 19, 2013 11:44:49 PM