In My Day, We Paradigm-Shifted

July 11, 2011

11:30 am

I was having a conversation last week with one of DC’s early tech entrepreneurs, and he mentioned that he just completed a pivot with his latest company.

Now, I couldn’t help but notice that this contemporary of mine had just uttered one of those newfangled, pants-around-their-knees, hipster-generation, jargon-speakey phrases, and I called him on it.  It was his theory that old guys like us can’t just get on Facebook and Twitter and speak like some groovy beatnick from the 50s.  If you are going to embrace the new generational tools then you must talk the talk that you are walking.

You know, in my day, we didn’t pivot, we paradigm-shifted, and for the 15 minutes that paradigm-shift was the pivot of the ’80s, the term was used in every tech and business strategy story of that day.  That was, of course, until paradigm-shift jumped the shark and was replaced with re-engineering, which was replaced with sea-change, which was replaced with game-changing.

Well I’m here to tell you that I’m not spending the next 15 minutes integrating pivot into my personal patter repertoire.  Nope, I’m not getting caught being so 15 minutes ago like I did back in December of 1991 when I last dropped the paradigm-shift-bomb. No siree Bob, I’m skipping pivot and jumping right to the next strategy shift term….

I’m jumping straight to fulcrum-swivel.

(Author’s note: 15 minutes from now, when you look up the term fulcrum-swivel in an urban dictionary, you will find the term that replaced pivot, which replaced sea-change, which replaced paradigm-shift, which replaced fulcrum-swivel.)

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Glen Hellman (@glehel), is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, and works for venture capitalists as a turn-around specialist. He is the Chief Entrepreneureator at Driven Forward LLC, frequently muses on his blog, Forward Thinking, and works with entrepreneurs to help them figure out what to do and get them to do it.

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