Sorry Entrepreneurs, Trendy Terms Don't Make Your Company Cool

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Photo: MNTF via Flickr

Every couple of years or so, a thought leader will coin a new phrase for a business trend. Web 2.0, the longtail and others have all been part of this trend.While these terms help us describe new aspects of our business landscape, entrepreneurs should be careful in how they use them when pitching investors.

Especially when terms are new, not well understood and not fully defined, it’s wise for entrepreneurs to be reticent in labelling their business with a recently-coined term.

While your company may in fact be part of the new trend in business, explicitly taking ownership of a new label is like calling your business “innovative”. When investors hear you say that your company is innovative they will likely do an internal eye-roll; be more focused on determining whether or not you were justified in making that claim. Rather, when pitching investors, you’re better off focusing on explaining the fundamentals of your business. If your company is in fact innovative, that will become self-evident.

Similarly, if your company is part of a cutting-edge trend it’s typically better to let the plan speak for itself than to try to brand it as a coined term.

Mark Peter Davis is a New York City VC and member of the DFJ Gotham Ventures team. This post originally appeared on his blog, and it is republished here with permission.

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