Thursday, March 22, 2012

Top 10 Tech Startup Lingo We Can’t Live Without

Written by: Fareesa Dastagir 06/03/12COMMENTS 0

API? SDK? MVP? …WTF? Welcome to the world of tech startup lingo. If you’re new to this world, don’t feel left out, we’ve all been there.  We’ve complied a list of 10 tech startup abbreviations and lingo to help you look less like a noob.

1. API
Application Programming Interface is a source code-based specification intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other. APIs are commonly used to share content throughout other web communities.  Sharing information in one community allows you to post to multiple websites.  Facebook and twitter use their own API to allow this.

2. SDK or “devkit”
Software Developer’s Kit  a set of software development tools that allows for the creation of applications for a certain software package, software framework, hardware platform, computer system, video game console, operating system. For example, Apple’s Xcode let’s a developer  build an application for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

3. MVP
Minimum Viable Product, a term coined by Eric Ries, the pioneer behind Lean Startup, is a strategy used for fast and quantitative market testing of a product or product feature. In other words, develop a basic prototype to present to your target audience to get some feedback.  The product doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact, it may be better that your customer gives you their feedback because it tells you your product isn’t ready for production but  at least they’re using it.

4. Pivot
When someone says a startup has pivoted, it essentially means they messed up, or there’s a glitch in the plan. Startups usually pivot a few times before they hit the jackpot. For an in depth explanation of pivots, Rob Go does a great job. You can read his post here.

5. Hacker
An individual who enjoys learning everything about a computer system through clever programming. These hobbyists take programing to the next level by pushing it to the highest level. Not to be confused with a “cracker,” and individual who enjoys breaking into secured systems. Hackers are skilled programmers who love developing and breaking stuff to see how it works.

6. Hackaton
Also known as “hack day,” “hackfest,” or “codefest,” is an event where computer programers, software developers, designers, project managers join forces to create a software program in a short period of time. Most hackathons focus on a particular platform, like hardware development or mobile app development. You can join the fun across the nation in programs like Startup Weekend or AngelHack.

7. Freemium
A business model by which a product, generally in a digital format, like a mobile app, software program, media, game, or web service, provided free of charge. A premium version allows the complete functionality and usability. There are many apps out there that offer to use their app completely free, but if you want a premium feature, you need to pay. If your app has a in-app purchase, it is most likely a premium.

8. Lean Startup
Lean Startup is a methodology pioneered by Eric Ries which advocates the production of prototypes rapidly in order to get a quick response by a target audience, much like MVP. In a lean startup, entrepreneurs reduce waste by increasing the frequency of contact with real customers.

9. Maker
An individual who physically makes a product. Maker Faire is an event created by Make magazine ”celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset”.

10. Influencer
Get ahead of the curve by becoming an influencer. An influencer is a person or brand with a large following, who impacts the world around you. In the world of social media, an influencer can encourage others to follow your online presence.

We hope this list of terms has helped you take the first steps towards becoming a tech startup guru. For a complete list of Startup Lingo, here’s a hilarious take on frequently used buzzwords every entrepreneur should know before they enter the startup circle: Startup Lingo: Buzzwords Every Entrepreneur Should Know 

For all those newbies out there, master the language of tech startups today. Tech Startup Genius by Brainscape developed this app to make you look smarter the next time you’re talking to an investor.

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