Startup Glossary

Option pool

An option pool is an equity incentive for early investors or employees of a startup.
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Focus group

A focus group is a research technique applied with the aim to collect data through group interaction. 
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Machine learning

Machine learning is the study of computer programs that use algorithms and statistical models to learn through analysing data and drawing patterns from it. 
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Interaction design

Interaction design, also known as IxD, refers to the act of designing interactive digital products and services. 
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Network effect

Network effect is a concept based on the value that users get with every new user joining a service providing network or a marketplace.
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Acqui-hire

Acqui-hiring is a notion used to describe the process of acquiring a company to recruit their employees rather than to control their product. 
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Blue ocean

Blue Ocean is a concept that is used to describe a new, unexploited market with little to no competition or any obstacles that would stifle growth and innovation.
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B2B

B2B (business-to-business) is a business model that allows transactions between businesses. 
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Sweat equity

Sweat equity is a company’s stakeholders’ contribution towards the business in the form of non-paid labour. Also referred to as “stock for services”or “equity compensation”, this model enables founders to receive the expertise and services they need by signing off a portion of their company.
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Design thinking

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success."
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Accelerator

An accelerator is a support programme for early-stage businesses that offers financial support, as well as training and mentorship. 
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Agile development

Can you name 12 core principles that most of the various agile methods have in common?
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Full-stack developer

Full stack developer is a software developer who mastered a variety of skills and is able to use these skills to build a product independently. Typically that means they are skilled in both frontend and backend web development, while also working with databases, servers and clients. 
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Feature bloat

Feature bloat is a concept that describes incorporating too many features and functionalities into a product. Overloading a product with all the extra features, makes it unable to perform its core function. 
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Go-to market

Go-to market (GTM) is a step-by-step plan or a strategy where businesses use their resources (both inside and outside) to deliver their unique value proposition and gain competitive advantage. 
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Empathy map

Empathy maps are a great way to get to know your users.
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Rapid experimentation

Is rapid experimentation the right approach for your project or business?
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Tech debt

What consequences can compromises in tech development have for a company?
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Early adopter

Early adopter is a concept within the sociological model of Technology Adoption Curve that aims to describe how prone different segments of the population are towards embracing a new technology. It helps us to understand that when we introduce new technology to the market, for every technology there will only be a subsegment of that population that will be inclined to test it, while others will wait for technology to mature.
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Runway

Not as glamorous as planes and supermodels, but still a very important track in the livelihood of any startup. 
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Elevator pitch

If you only had 30 seconds, would you be able to present your idea or a product?
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Buyer persona

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional, researched-based representation of an ideal customer or target audience. It is not a real customer, but a profile depicting all the characteristics of an ideal, potential customer.
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Burn rate

What is a burn rate? How can you calculate it? What type of burn rate are investors interested in?
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Angel investor

Promising businesses often need a boost in which case they turn to angel investors.
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Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an investment strategy whereby the investee aims to receive investments from a large number of individuals, rather than a smaller group of higher-stake investors.
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Problem-founder fit

‍Problem-founder fit is a concept inspired by Paul Graham’s blog “How to get startup ideas?” that goes agains the conventional wisdom of relying on industry experience when assessing founder’s chances of success with a new venture.
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Exit

The method by which a venture capitalist or business owner intends to get out of an investment that he or she has made in the past. In other words, the exit strategy is a way of “cashing out” an investment.
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Wizard of OZ MVP

A customer validation technique, one of high-fidelity types of MVPs, whereby the product team builds an illusion of a product but with key functionality carried out by a human (or 3rd party service), in order to validate it with real customers at low-cost and high velocity. Use it for testing a specific solution hypothesis by simulating the user experience of the actual intended product as accurately as possible, but accept that the customers will be faced with a slight time delay since a human cannot react as fast as a computer.
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Value proposition

A value proposition tells your customers why they should do business with you rather than your competitors, and makes the benefits of your products or services crystal clear from the outset. It is the intermediary between your customer and your product and is a way of explaining why your customers should care for the product that you’re building and what makes this product relevant to them today. So, value proposition doesn’t exist without understanding your customer segment. It is fundamentally a statement about satisfying a customer need - and not just about a “good” product idea. 
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