Business Management

Rant: An A-Z of Technology's Idiot Lexicon

A if for Automagically. The slick process by which your device anticipates exactly what you want and delivers it to you so you think, “Dang! This thing can really read my mind.” Happens all the time.

B is for BDM. Business Decision Maker: knows nothing about computers, determined to have his say.

C is for Compredators. Unnecessary coinage for competitors that are like predators.

D is for Disintermediation. A market changes and the incumbent is shafted. Business-school-speak for mediocre lecturers who have never run a business.

Eis for Edutainment: Forges ‘education’ and ‘entertainment’ and usually involves a cartoon character teaching you French. You’ll never stick at it, will you?

F is for Frenemies. Conflation of ‘friends’ with ‘enemies’, intended to underline your sense of realpolitik. In reality, usually means you have built a little app on another company’s platform and they have a little app that does something similar.

G is for Guerrilla Marketing. You paid the intern to hang around your competitor’s event dressed as an animal and hand out leaflets.

H is for Heterogeneous Computing Platforms. A term designed to make you feel ignorant and inadequate.

I is for Insanely Great. The late Steve Jobs’ definition of a breakthrough development. (See also, Lock-in, Smoke, Mirrors, Cult of Personality, Sheep-like Mentality, More Money Than Sense.)

J is for Joint-Venture. An association that begins with smiles, later creates mutual loathing and ends in law courts amid recriminations. (See also, Marriage.)

K is for Key Performance Indicator. A measure of how your company is performing, but it can also mean anything else you want it to.

L is for Licence Agreement. You’ve paid for the software already so you might as well use it and a million other suckers can’t be wrong. Can they?

M is for Multitenancy. A datacentre version of Friends: the servers got lonely so they rented a place to share. And if you must eat the sausage I left in the fridge, could you at least ask?

N is for Nice To Have. A feature you could have had but you bought the cheapo edition.

O is for Offshoring and Outsourcing. Where your job is going any day now.

P is for PaaS. But what does it mean? Pass.

Q is for QR Code. Useful alternative to typing in a short URL if you don’t mind finding the app, holding the screen really steady… no, try again… here, let me have a go…

R is for RSS. A techies’s way to receive unreliable newsfeeds. Not pronounced ‘arrrses’ but coincidentally appropriate.

S is for the Sharing Economy. It’s an all-new phenomenon that’s a bit like libraries, car rentals, flat shares and all those other 21st century inventions.

T is for Trending on Twitter. An ephemeral subject pursued by the hoi polloi, often relating to quasi-humourous possibilities engendered changing one word in a film title.

U is for USP or Unique Selling Point. An almost extinct species today after the massed ranks of Clones and Second Movers crushed the Innovators in the Battle of Silicon Valley.

V is for Venture Capitalist. A shark only lacking that animal’s customary small talk and charm.

W is for Wintel. A word used to describe an ancient duopoly in the days when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan ruled the world.

X is for xaaS: All those things delivered as a service. Not to be confused with Xylophone as a Service (q.v.) where an unpleasant-sounding musical instrument may be rented rather than bought outright.

Y is for Yahoo! Originally the name of a primitive species digging obsessively for “pretty stones” in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Now the name of a primitive internet portal digging obsessively for pretty stones via mergers and acquisitions.

Z is for Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Martin Veitch is editorial director at IDG Connect


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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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