I just got an assignment for another one of my Stanford Startup business classes which starts next week. The assignment is “to find a really bad description of a company”. This is also called a terrible elevator pitch. My instructor posted an example from a student:
“(Company X) is an enterprise social media internet cloud company that enables user-created, annotated, and self-published media. Users personify areas with dynamic and rich content, complete with web 2.0 modalities. “
Huh? This is not clear, concise communication. (I’m scratching my head.) Who are they targeting? What do they really do and how do they make money? I call this Buzzword Barfing. If you are trying to build a tech related business, have you tried explaining it to non-technical, ordinary people? Do they understand you? If you are still not clear on what a buzz word is, just visit a LinkedIn resume.
I see and hear buzz words all the time, everywhere. I’m even guilty of using them. This brings me to another thought which poses the question: What is the difference between “buzz words” and “jargon”. I looked it up in Wikipedia but was confused by their explanation. So I Googled it and found a more clear and concrete opinion about it here: Jargon Good. Buzzwords Bad.
This assignment makes me think of the way we communicate daily with each other as human beings. Would we become better communicators if we tried really hard to use less words to convey a thought? Is concise communication the road to better relations? In any case, let’s choose our words carefully.