Tip #51: Product Jargon

Tip 51: Product - Jargon. You live the technicalities of your technology; we don’t, and we’re not going to learn them in a 30 minute pitching slot. If you don’t explain this business, even the most scientifically niche or technologically sophisticated, in everyday language, we won’t invest.

How can you do this? It is OK to simplify – as long as you don’t mislead. Try analogies or comparisons if the concepts themselves are too complicated - though usually the concepts aren't that difficult to articulate.

The problem comes with terminology. If you are using a word that is not in everyday use, eliminate it. If you are using industry-specific abbreviations, either spell them out or take them out.

You might think I'm looking at the scientists here. I am.

But I'm also looking at software guys - because most of us aren't software developers, so simply switch off when you get into the weeds. And I'm looking at anyone else who bringing their industry-specific vocabulary to a generalist audience and expecting them to be fluent in your argot.

Jargon must be gone.