Someone new to the world of entrepreneurship will notice right away that entrepreneurs have an interesting way of speaking. From “unicorn” to “bootstrapping” to “foodpreneur,” entrepreneurs use a lot of strange language to describe what they do. By combining words, or by assigning new meaning to old ones, they have created a whole new vocabulary to better communicate their needs and ideas in an ever-evolving ecosystem. The EntrepreLingo Series is an effort to fill our readers in on some of the weirder—or less straightforward—terms you’re sure to hear in an entrepreneurial environment. So far, we’ve covered: A, B, C, D and E, F through H, I through L, M and N, P and Q, R and S. This is the final installment of the EntrepreLingo Series: letters T through Z.
A term sheet is a sort of precursor to a legally binding contract between a business and an investor. A term sheet serves as an outline for the terms of investment, which may be expanded upon once both the business and the investor have reached an agreement.
User Interface/User Experience. These terms—most often used in tech communities—describe the process by which a customer interacts with a product or technology. Tech companies often strive to create a user experience that will enable users to interact with their software in a natural and intuitive way.
A unicorn is a startup that is valued at over $1 billion, despite its having no established performance record. These companies are so few that it is said that finding one is as rare as finding a unicorn.
A user is anyone who uses a product or service, whether they have directly paid for it or not.
Valuation is the process of determining a company’s financial value; factors that are considered in the process of valuation include the company’s assets, its capital structure, projected earnings and its management.
A company’s value proposition is what sets it apart from other companies in the same market; it is a statement that describes why a customer should pay for their product or service over the competition’s.
This is a term tech companies use to describe products that are announced to the public but are never actually released. Often, the announcement is never rescinded, and it is as if the product has simply vaporized.
VC (Venture Capital, Venture Capitalist)
Venture capital is the money invested in a startup with long-term growth potential, wherein a significant amount of risk is involved. A venture capitalist is one who does the investing and usually has a say in the company’s decision-making process.
Vesting is a method of incentivizing employees, wherein the employee may 1) receive non-forfeitable rights to stock options after a number of years, and/or 2) participate in a matching program for their retirement funds or pension plans. Vesting helps motivate employees to perform well and remain with the company for many years.
Wireframes are essentially blueprints for websites; they are used to design a site’s functionality without the encumbrance of color, graphics or typography.
WoW (Week over Week)
Week over Week comparisons reflect changes that occur from one week to the next; comparisons are calculated by subtracting the previous week’s numbers from the current week’s numbers, then multiplying that value by 100 to get the percent change.
YoY (Year over Year)
Year over Year comparisons reflect changes that occur from one year to the next; comparisons are calculated by subtracting the previous year’s numbers from the current year’s numbers, then multiplying that value by 100 to get the percent change.
See something we’ve missed? Leave your contribution in the comments below!