Start Up Blog

Alternate words

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 23, 2010

The words we use shape our behaviour. They even create bias, prejudices and potentially create a subconscious blue print for our strategic thinking. So in the spirit of solutions – I’ve list some new and better ways of saying old words.

Old word is Target. Replacement word = Audience.

A target is something we shoot at, aim for and maybe even kill. We care not for them. We care about us, and try to dominate them to bring home food for the night. An audience is a group of people we try to impress. We ask for some time on the stage (permission based), give our best performance and hope they throw flowers, not rotten tomatoes. If we do particularly well they’ll ask for an encore (supporting product to buy?) and tell their friends to come see the show.

Old word is Consumer. Replacement word = Person.

A consumer devours everything in their path. By defining people as such we subconsciously want them to mindlessly fill their life with stuff. We are not asking them to think, or consider, just act. We care not how the item bought for consumption is used and whether or not it enhances our world or theirs. It’s a production and factory mentality which is quickly becoming outdated.  A person has feelings, emotions and aspirations. We are people, while they are consumers. The ‘we’ are people mindset is far superior to the ‘they’ are consumers view. It will take us much further and we’ll go there together.

Old word is Retiree. Replacement word = Projecteer

Retiring is an industrial revolution hangover based on physical labour taking it’s toll on men an woman. We must stop and rest in our final days because we having no energy left or have become less useful (in a physical sense) to the industrial machine. It was invented because the hours people have worked since the industrial revolution is beyond what is meant for humans. A Projecteer is what will replace the concept of Retirement. In fact, retirement will diminish as passion projects and life long idea work rises. We will be projecteers with specialist skills which are valued and revered as we gain in years and experience. Our mental faculties will flourish with improvements in diet and medicine and older generations will reclaim their position at the top of the human hierarchy.

Old word is Demographic. Replacement word = Tribe.

The problem with demographics is that a teenager is no longer a teenager. A teenager is a goth, an emo, a surfer, a skater… The same can be said for any age group or geographic locator. We are no longer definable by statistical clustering. Our values and attitudes are less likely to be defined via demography, but the tribes we move in, which now very often include people from disparate backgrounds and ages. The net enabled us to find the tribes we really belong to.

Old word is Non-profit. Replacement word = Social profit.

It’s nothing short of insane to have the word non-profit associated with organisations that build positive social outcomes. The word profit isn’t exclusive to financial output. Actually the word profit comes from the latin ‘Profectus‘ meaning to ‘make progress.’ The financial element was added much later. In this sense organisations providing social progress should move quickly to communicate the social profit they are making and in doing so remove the negative connotations that come with the word ‘non’.

Smart entrepreneurs shape peoples thinking with the words they use.

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6 Responses

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  1. Lauren Anderson said, on July 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Great post Steve. Change ur language for the better!

    Lauren Anderson (@socialadvocate via twitter)

  2. Chris Lee said, on July 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    An interesting read for marketing peeps

    Chris Lee (via twitter)

  3. Ross Floate said, on July 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    I always cringe when I hear the word ‘consumer’ used by government departments that have become in some way corporatised. I’m not a consumer of government services. There’s another word for what I am. That word is ‘citizen’.

    Also: love ‘Projecteer’. Magnificent coining.

  4. Luke said, on July 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Nice. Very good stuff S2. I especially like projecteer and social profit. What a great description social profit is !!!
    Thanks.

  5. Tian Yang said, on July 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    I tried replacing with the word “audience” – had an instant impact on how I saw things, amazing .

    Tian Yang (@tian_yang via twitter)

  6. Pieter Peach said, on July 25, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I like “projecteer”.

    PPeach.


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