Category Archives: New Marketing Terms

Posted On February 22nd, 2017 by Crowded Ocean

Two-word descriptions you’ve probably never heard before

Barista robots: an automated coffee shop called CafeX in San Francisco (of course) is now using robots as baristas.

Artisanal infographics: the always popular, chart- and icon-heavy infographic is a popular marketing tools for brands around the globe. But instead of using data visualization tools or highend graphic design software to create them, some designers are pursuing the hand-crafted look. In other words, don’t throw out that napkin that captured your original genius. It might just work as an “artisanal infographic”

Live chilling: the new way to hang out for the so-called Generation Z, ages early teens to early 20’s, is using live chat applications (Facebook Messenger, etc.) to communicate with a group of friends without ever leaving the house.

Posted On January 30th, 2017 by Crowded Ocean

We use new words, the best words in Silicon Valley

The frightful five: That’s the behemoth tech giants that dominate globally: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft.Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 6.32.53 PM

Mini-IPO: When a hot robot startup raised a small amount of money, and from an uncommon source, it was called a mini IPO.

“The Pipeline Effect” When companies put women on boards, more women make it into leadership roles at that company.

Phygital: a blend of physical and digital marketing has been dubbed “phygital” and (puhleeze) let’s see if this one sticks.

“The adjacent possible” A new mathematical model that describes how innovation arises is described in an article published January 13, 2017 in The Technology Review as “The adjacent possible is all those things—ideas, words, songs, molecules, genomes, technologies and so on—that are one step away from what actually exists. It connects the actual realization of a particular phenomenon and the space of unexplored possibilities.”


Posted On December 20th, 2016 by Crowded Ocean

Some new, some old: the latest lingo of Silicon Valley

It’s time once again for NEW WORDS and PHRASES bubbling up in Silicon Valley…

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.47.06 AMGAFA: the rest of the world looks upon the technology giants of the left coast (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) and simply refers to them as GAFA.

TAFT: the acronym for “tell them any frigging thing” was the unscrupulous sales practice at Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the nation’s largest time-share operator.

Rat-fucking: made famous in the Watergate era, ratfucking was the term for dirty tricks instigated by Republican operatives on the campaign to re-elect Richard Nixon. Yes, the term is back.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.01.45 AMMechanical pixels: scientists are exploring a new display technology based upon graphene to build flexible, durable, energy efficient screens that are superior to LED screens.

Sexist algorithms: it turns out that there is a gender bias inherent in the data sets, called word embeddings, that are being used to train AI tools like chatbots, translation systems and recommendation engines.

culture, marketingPerfect forward secrecy: a security feature built into the end-to-end encryption of programs like WhatsApp that “future-proofs” your messages from new hacker attacks.

Posted On November 15th, 2016 by Crowded Ocean

November edition of fascinating new Silicon Valley jargon

USB condom: a device that blocks the risk of hacking or the transfer of computer viruses when a mobile device is plugged into a public USB port for power or recharging.Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 9.33.38 AM

“Lights out” factories: a factory that is so completely automated it needs no interior illumination.

Fake news problem: this is a problem that Facebook is grappling with in the wake of their inability to filter out false information that’s posted as “news” on their website today.

Posted On October 26th, 2016 by Crowded Ocean

October: 3 new words in Silicon Valley jargon

Three new terms you really need to know and use, nerds…


Volunteer computing: donate a share of your computer’s unused storage space and compute power to a scientific project (e.g. the search for signs of extraterrestrial life for SETI or research for a cure to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases for Stanford University).

Buzzy: when a startup is growing quickly, in the media a lot and watched with envy by other startups with far less momentum, they’re buzzy. A former buzzy startup, Mixpanel, is regrouping to refocus on profitability, according to this recent news article.

Casino effect: there are a set of principles in the design of casinos that keep gamblers gambling. But can that same idea be applied to consumer software design?

Posted On October 11th, 2016 by Crowded Ocean

More new words: the October edition, part two

Glass cliff: according to The New York Times, it’s the theory that holds that women are often placed in positions of power when the situation is dire, men are uninterested and the likelihood of success is low.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.01.45 AMSharenting: the practice of online sharing of parenting, including the posting of children at very early ages, shapes the identity (and privacy) of children and that digital identity can follow a child into adulthood.

Behavior design: a principle of software design that coaxes us into adopting new behaviors or habits, as in rewarding the poster of a photo on Facebook with instant “likes”.

Conversational computing: the new market category of consumer and computing products popularized by Siri, Alexa and Echo, are artificially intelligent devices.


Posted On October 5th, 2016 by Crowded Ocean

New words, the October 2016 edition

Man-terrupting: in the first presidential debate, held September 26, Republican candidate Donald Trump interrupted his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton 40 times in the first 26 minutes. Women are twice as likely to be interrupted as men are and it’s a mainstay of the “subtle sexism” of the workplace. And now it has a name: manterrupting.

Cyber-chondria: being addicted to researching any new symptom, ache or pain online and making yourself worry. It’s the new hypochondria.

Ramen profitability: the metric that early-stage startups covet says that a company is making enough money for the founders to live on the college and startup staple of Ramen noodles.

Power law: the unwritten VC rule that 90 percent of the VC firm’s profits come from one or two companies in the portfolio.

Posted On August 9th, 2016 by Crowded Ocean

New Words in Startup-land: Aug 2016 edition

Swarm session: if you’ve got a knotty problem to get through, one of the new startup tactics is called a “swarm session” which involves convening a group of people who lock themselves up for a couple of days together to solve it already.

Intrapreneurial hacktivists: large corporations are encouraging new product development within their walls to foster innovation and develop new markets, according to an article in Harvard Business Review.

Breadcrumbers: described as “one step shy of ghosters” are colleagues, friends or romantic interests who pop up with a text, and email, a creep of your LinkedIn page but never commit to a meeting or a concrete follow up. They are connections but not relationships or conversations. Tantalizing and frustrating both.

Creepers: unlike breadcrumbers (see above), these are people who peek at your social media pages and leave a trace of their viewing and almost-contact but they do not text or email.

Reputation scoring: Spam filters are built to examine the servers sending the email and rank the servers to determine the legitimacy of the sender. Email providers like MailChimp and ConstantContact innovate on the deliverability of email by investing in reputation scoring.

Posted On June 3rd, 2016 by Crowded Ocean

New Terms in Startup-land: the June 2016 Edition

We love to track new terminology and jargon in startup-land. Here are our latest picks:

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.00.06 AMSwatting
: a form of online harassment in which a fake emergency triggers the arrival of armed authorities or local police.

Fuzzing: in the world of cybersecurity, “fuzzing is the usually automated process” of finding hackable software bugs by randomly feeding different permutations of data in a target program until one of the permutations reveals a vulnerability.

Computer Vision Syndrome: estimates are that 70 to 90 percent of people who use computers have one or more symptoms of this new malady: neck and back pain, vision pain, headaches.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 10.57.32 AMBreach fatigue: yes, the relentlessness of breaches is something consumers are getting used to. But experts say consumers are not indifferent, and are changing their online habits. Meanwhile, corporations are investing in security awareness and training for employees to build a culture of security.

Posted On May 10th, 2016 by Crowded Ocean

Naming your startup (and 7 new tools to help)

We were recently asked to help name a new startup, and the process educated us on what had changed and what remained solid advice.crystalball

The new tools include name generators and crowdsourcing. In each case, you get what you pay for. The name generators are both random and incredibly prolix, filled with combinations of vowels and consonants that only a computer or a brain on peyote would yield. But most of them are free and playing with them might toggle an original thought for your startup.

Crowdsourcing is another matter. There are a number of firms out there (SquadHelp and Naming Force are but two) who have a solid group of marketers and would-be marketers who only get paid (prizes start at $250) if they name a winner. Definitely worth a try, given some of the solid results these have generated (which you can see on their websites).

If you decide to keep naming in-house, some basic rules still apply:

  • Keep the engineers out of the room. These guys (and let’s face it, they’re almost always only guys) often want the name to exactly represent what the product does. They also seem to like names with lots of ‘z’s’ and ‘x’s’ in them.
  • Pass the Sales Rep test: if, in introducing themselves, the sales reps have to either spell the name or can’t say it without wincing (too cute), go on to the next name.
  • Becoming a verb or common phrase (Google, Uber, Xerox, etc.) is ideal, but don’t get hung up on it. The market is going to make that call, not you.
  • Here’s one we recently heard: keep it to one word, 5-10 letters, with one of them making a hard sound. (Google, Honda, Apple, Exxon, Cisco, Mattel, etc.)
  • Remember mobile and email usages when choosing your finalists. This applies for the logo, especially.
  • Dictionaries are your friend, especially foreign dictionaries. One of our clients had a product that generated great insight into—and knowledge about—the network. The founder had a Yiddish dictionary: one of the words for ‘knowledge’ in Yiddish is ‘Kentik.’ A startup was born: Kentik.

Stuck coming up with a new name? Check out these five new name generators: Panabee, Naminum, NameMesh, NameBird, Wordoid