Tech Industry Buzzwords And What They Mean

By April 8, 2012

Below is a guest post from Nicholas Montgomery, the Technology Expert for The Marilyn Denis Show (CTV). You can follow him on Twitter, add him Facebook page or read his blog.

We’ve all been to a conference or read a blog post where a new buzzword is used and had no idea what it means. You can feel really left out and you might even sound stupid asking someone what a “pivot” or “big data” means. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled some of the top industry buzzwords and provided you with a clear description of what they mean.

Pivot – Entrepreneurs continually use this word to describe what they’ll do if there business doesn’t go exactly as planned. A pivot is a switch in the businesses fundamental goals. Many successful companies like Groupon, Flickr and Nintendo have made pivots. The iconic Super Mario and Pokemon brand and weren’t always Nintendo’s priorities, they originally started selling playing cards. They even tried to become a taxi firm and believe it or not, a food company.

Big Data – From posts on social media sites, uploads of digital pictures and videos online, records of online purchases, GPS signals, climate info, and more, we’re creating more data then ever. In fact, IBM states that that 90% of that data in the world was created in the past two years. How much is that? At least 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, every day. All of that data is big data.

Stickyness – Making your service more “sticky” simply means retaining more users on your site. This can used in the context of having more blog readers come back, more people continue to use a service or simply having everyone “stick” to your site. It may be easy to have thousands of people sign up for your startup, but can you make sure they’re still using it in a week?

SaaS – Software as a service. Some examples of SaaS companies are HubSpot, Basecamp and This is a rapidly growing market. According to IDC, in 2009 the SaaS market had worldwide revenues of $13.1 billion and in will reach $40.5 billion by 2014.

Tech Buzzwords

Gameification is adding game aspects to a service, usually to increase engagement and retention. FourSquare has done a great job of this by adding badges, a mayor system. A simple points feature is an example of gameification.

Crowdfunding is having thousands or hundreds of thousands of people fund an idea. This allows the collective masses to come together and support an idea with a donation.t

Clicktivism – This word actually made it into the Oxford Dictionary with the definition of, “the use of social media and other online methods to promote a cause.”

Mocial – Dan Rowinski of ReadWriteWeb wrote about this as the “The Worst Tech Buzzword Of the Year.” I seem to agree. Mocial means a product or service which is mobile, social and local. An example of a mocial service FourSquare.

ccTLD – Country Code Top Level Domain. This is the ending of a domain name, for example .ca, .us. .uk and so on. Each country is assigned one which is always two letters. The country of Tuvualu has caplizited on their .tv ccTLD, as well Montenegro’s .me.

Social Graph – The social graph is a way of connecting all of the people that you know. It isn’t a new concept and has been used for decades. Social media sites provide a systematic way to categories your friends based on mutual friends, friends you met after an event, friends you talk to and thousands of other points. It has a structured set of data or a “graph” on your social life.

Now that you’ve learn what some of the most popular Tech Industry Buzzwords are, why not create your own? The “Web Economy Bullshit Generator” pulls together a bunch of keywords to create a new buzzword, which may impress your friends but mean nothing. But who cares, it’s all about unleashing cross-media mindsharing right? The key to today’s business success is to repurpose strategic metrics.