Start-Up Speak Decoded for Young Entrepreneurs

Last Updated Jul 29, 2011 6:03 AM EDT

Every segment of business has its insider language. Whether it's the arcane mathematical terms of quants or the management buzzwords du jour of consultants, part of making it in a particular niche is learning to talk like one of the locals. So what if you're a young person determined to make it in the world of start-ups? How can you learn what common expressions used by entrepreneurs really mean so you can converse like a pro?

Stephanie Kaplan is offering you a helping hand on the Young Entrepreneur Council website, decoding the secret language of entrepreneurs to help those just starting out in Silicon Valley learn to talk the talk. The occasionally hilarious and quite comprehensive list of useful expression and the true meaning behind them is worth a leisurely browse for any budding entrepreneur, but to whet your appetite, here are some of the best:

It's a really crowded space: I probably know nothing about the industry you're talking about, but I want to sound like I do. (Note: This statement has nothing to do with a room that has a lot of people in it.)

Bootstrapping: We are completely broke, i.e., we take the BoltBus to NYC and subsist on free stuff that gets sent to us.

Check back with me in 6 months: I have no interest in working with you.

That sounds really interesting: I have no idea whether your offer is good for my company or not, so I'm going to say the most neutral thing possible for now until I talk to my advisors.

Our company would never, ever agree to that: We agree to this all the time, but we always start out our negotiations by saying we never do it.

Cross-promote: We don't want to spend money with you.

We don't have any marketing budget for this: I just want you to give me free publicity.

We'll consider this for coverage: I'm archiving your email never to see it again.

Older entrepreneurs, what do you think of this list -- is there anything inaccurate or missing from Kaplan's guide to Entrepreneurese?

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(Image courtesy of Flickr user ShardsOfBlue, CC 2.0)
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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.