December 30, 2020

Let’s Ban These Tech Words In 2021

Banned tech words for 2021 image

We’ve heard some of these tech words and phrases so much that they now hold no meaning, so it’s time to stop using them. Yep, tech words, phrases, and jargon have now seeped in the music business (especially music tech), but we can save ourselves in the new year with a little awareness. Below is a non-comprehensive list inspired by Shelly Palmer.

We hacked it – If you mean you “figured it out,” then just say that in plain English.

Paradigm shift – Once again the plain “something new” will suffice, unless you’re talking about something so momentous that it has never been thought of before.

Game changer – Most of the time you mean “interesting,” “meaningful,” “significant,” “impactful.” That’s good enough.

Disrupt the industry – That’s a pretty dramatic way of just saying “change.”

Monetize – I know, I use this one myself. A simpler way is to just say, “how we make money.”

Blockchain – Most people who throw this word around don’t even know what it means. If I hear how “Blockchain is going to change the music industry forever,” or “It will let you charge whatever you want for your music,” I think I’ll scream. It’s just a clever database technology. It’s ability to change the music business has been overrated.

AI (artificial intelligence) – Again, I’m as guilty as anyone for using this. Most of the time this is referring to machine learning, which is a subset of AI. Better to use “this will automatically happen” instead of inferring magic powers on the process.

The above tech words and phrases can be useful, but just like superstar artists, only 1% of the time. Shelly mentioned a few more, like “5G,” “hockey stick,” and “ideate” that thankfully haven’t made it into every day music tech yet. Let’s hope that 2021 brings us clearer language with fewer buzzwords (Yes, I intend to practice what I preach).


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