Thursday, April 13, 2006


In talking with a friend who's just taken a job at a web-based company, I was reminded of all of the crazy industry-specific terms that you have to master to get along. Each profession has its own set of words it uses as shorthand, concepts that might exist outside of that industry but which take on a whole new meaning for those "in the business". I thought it would be a good idea to provide a quick reference here so you can see the difficulties in straddling two different worlds.

TermNerd DefinitionBubba Definition
LeverageSteal one idea to use in some other idea. "Let's leverage the marketing department's posters to promote our beer party."Use a big metal pole to move heavy stuff. "Get that fence post so we can leverage that stump outta the ground, Bobby Joe."
OwnershipAssigning someone's ass to be on the line if the project's a complete disaster. "Johnson, you have total ownership of this initiative."Where your wife will be on your riverboat cruise. "Where's Thelma? She's ownership."
The ProcessAny bureaucratic detail you can use to avoid having to do something. "I'd love to have that report for you, Bob, but it's still working through the process."To turn a deer into meat. "I had to bring that buck over to Bubba's to get processed -- gonna end up with a lot of sausage!"
PingTo check up on someone. "Nancy, you need to ping Roger on the status of his process."The new Chinese exchange student down the road. "That guy Ping sure was surprised when I asked him to help process that deer."
BandwidthHow much time you have to do something. "Do you have the bandwidth to take ownership over leveraging Marketing's process?"How wide the strap is that holds the fence closed. "Ain't no way that band's gonna hold that fence against that bull, you're gonna need a bigger bandwidth."
CyclesSimilar to "Bandwidth", "Cycles" refers to how much time something is going to take. "It's going to take a lot of cycles to get this thing right. We need more bandwidth."The one week a month you sleep in the barn. "Ethel's on her cycle again and madder than a one-eyed mule at a starin' contest."
MetricsStatistics used to measure success and avoid blame. "The metrics prove that taking too many cycles to leverage marketing's bandwidth for ownership of the process without pinging me is a failure."A stupid foreign measurement system specifically designed to make working on your car as difficult as possible. "Damn those foreigners and their Metric units, go get me an American socket wrench!"
Low Hanging FruitEasy-to-accomplish goals that take little effort but look good on a report. "I think selling our products to the homeless is low-hanging fruit that will really help the bottom line."An older woman's bosom. "If she ain't careful, Granny's low-hanging fruit's gonna come right out from under her nightgown!"


Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, just wanted to give you kudos on these definitions. Ally showed me this link (nerds rule). I especially like the nerd definition of bandwidth. This idea has inspired me to take notes on funny lingo in my business. Hopefully I'll get enough to actually come up with something good.

Anyway, thanks for the laugh.

Jeff Hebert said...

Thanks Caroline, I appreciate your stopping by and commenting! I am very jealous that Ally's working with you all now, we miss her a lot.

Denise said...

I laughed and laughed and laughed!! Yep -- thanks for the good laugh, Jeff!!

Did you write that?! Especially love that "cycle" one!!

Jeff Hebert said...

Thanks Denise. Yep, I wrote every word, inspired by my friend Allison. I hope one day to have it forwarded and referred to by others so often that no one will believe I was the author.

Denise said...

I am definitely impressed!! I sent this to a bunch of people in my address book -- we need a good laugh. You continually amaze me, brother dear!!