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Retiring in 2012

Sharon Paley

Post: Retiring in 2012
Ah, retirement. Wait! Is that ocean boiling?

Every year the OED officially adds words the lexicon. I would kindly suggest that some be removed. If not from the dictionary, at least from our collective vocabulary. As 2012 draws to a close, here are some terms oft-heard around on the innovation scene that are ripe for retirement.

30,000 Foot View

Guilty as charged. Every time I hear myself use this one, I want to smack myself in the head. That's why it's my New Years' resolution to give this one up. Even if I am in an airplane.

Maven, Ninja, Rockstar, etc.

These things are not job descriptions. 


  • ideate
  • bifurcate
  • enthuse
  • sandbagging
  • prethink
  • whiteboarding

Boil The Ocean 

Somethings are enormously complex and challenging. But look! There are already perfectly adequate words to describe these situations. 

And, while we're at it, can we get rid of "boil the frog" too? Because that's just gross.

Open the Kimono

On the subject of icky imagery...This is a business situation. So let's all just keep our clothes on shall we? Metaphorically or otherwise.

Secret Sauce

Unless you are discussing the constituent parts of Big Macs (and, let's be honest, you're never discussing Big Macs) there is no need to use the expression "secret sauce." Although, if you have a hamburger-driven startup, Jason would love to hear from you.

Baked In

Maybe it's the talk about hamburgers, but "baked in" has gotta go too. pecan pie

Actually, let's just toss out all the food-related business jargon:

  • granular
  • low hanging fruit
  • cannibalize
  • drink the Kool-Aid
  • peel the onion
  • eat your own dog food

Enough of this brain dump! Let's get ahead of the curve by moving this to the front burner and closing the loop on this list. 

The whole entrepreneurial ecosystem should deep dive on this topic and start thinking out side the box. C'mon, get some skin in the game!

What jargon are you sick of hearing? Please socialize your thoughts here, on the blogosphere. We'll circle back in 2013 and see what's in the pipeline.



Sharon Paley

Sharon Paley is the chief operator and mama bear of She totally geeks out on organization and has spent her professional career coordinating community groups, civic movements, large-scale events, and marketing campaigns. An extrovert by nature, Sharon loves meeting new people and helping them connect further. So let her hear it.