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Glossary

This page serves as a collection of terms that are uncommon, or unusual, or for which my definition and/or usage is non-standard. I will revise and amend the list as needed over time. If you find a term in one of my posts that you feel needs a definition, please post a comment here. I'll consider adding a definition for any term(s) you suggest.

  • Startist — An entrepreneur who, in her/his approach to developing a new business, viscerally embraces methods and approaches akin to an explicit triple bottom line policy. Further details in this post.
  • Startup — A commercial enterprise that distinguishes itself from other business ventures by three specific features: 1. A business plan predicated on very rapid growth, particularly in the period immediately following its creation; 2. Typically (but not always) a need for external capital to finance the early phases of rapid growth; 3. Typically (but not always) a product or service that is innovative, disruptive, or somehow at odds with the prevailing wisdom. I am partial to the definition proposed by Paul Graham, with one very big caveat: a startup need not intend to just keep growing, on an ever-upward asymptotic trajectory of growth to be interrupted only by an "exit event" such as an IPO or an acquisition. A startup can (and in my view, should) aspire to become a sustainable, slow-growth business.
  • weaksignal
    Weak Signal
    Weak Signal — Some facts can be revealed by statistical trends. But in general, in any situation that emits enough data for statistical analysis, the trend is revealed after-the-fact — to late to react or profit from it when the situation is evolving rapidly (which is nearly always the case for startups). Mindful of this problem, forecasting experts came up with this notion of weak signals for these early indicators of trends. Articles throughout this blog will use the icon shown above to clearly flag any description of a weak signal. These descriptions deserve special attention, as well as a well-honed critical mind (a weak signal can be false, or can have been misinterpreted by the analyst).

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