Vocabulary

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Revenue isn't always revenue. Even simple concepts can be confusing

I want to talk about revenue. Specifically, I want to talk about how it’s sometimes difficult to talk about revenue. Don’t worry. We’ll use an example, so it doesn’t get too meta. My fake plumbing business Say I run a plumbing business: Jeff’s Plumbing. Moving right past the uninspired name, let’s imagine I have five locations
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The semantics of Tesla's deadline "strategy"

Trust me, I know I get too worked up about the misuse of the word “strategy”. I can’t help it. I wrote yesterday about a Bloomberg article describing Tesla’s “strategy” of setting unrealistically ambitious deadlines. The idea is that Elon Musk uses these deadlines to push his team to achieve things they otherwise thought impossible.
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The STEM to Business Manifesto

Large companies are larger today than they’ve ever been. They dominate the global economy. Your financial health is tied to the performance of large companies, whether you work for one or not. I built this site to help you, and me, learn more about How business are built, Why they work the way they do,
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Another bit of business jargon: "drive"

I’ve written about the word “synergies”, which is one of the classic words in the business jargon lexicon. Today I’ll cover a less iconic piece of jargon: “drive”: You drive accountability on your team. You drive results through ongoing initiatives. You drive efficiency across your supply chain. Drive is an action verb. It’s powerful. It’s
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Rationalize is a fancy word for reduce

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published a story about the struggles of mining and oil companies. Falling commodity prices have forced these companies to aggressively cut costs. Here’s one excerpt from the article: “2016 is going to be another tough year” for miners, says Macquarie Research mining analyst Alon Olsha. “We have still not seen sufficient capacity
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The story of rates: burn rates, interest rates, inflation rates

Have you heard of a burn rate? It’s often used in the context of spending, as in you’re spending $10 million per year, so you have a $10 million annual burn rate. What about a run rate? It can be synonymous with burn rate. Or a run rate could be used to describe how quickly
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How to talk about revenue growth

If you follow the business literature, you’ve heard a lot about revenue growth, also known as “top line” growth. You might also have heard a fair bit about earnings growth, or “bottom line” growth. Let’s focus on revenue for now. I’ll write about earnings, and the cost bridge from revenue to earnings, later. Okay, revenue. What
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What in the hell does "synergies" mean?

I work for a large public company going through an acquisition process. That means, over the past year or so, I’ve heard a lot about “synergies”. As you might expect, the more often a word is used, the better the chance for misuse. With misuse comes confusion. Let’s try to clear some of that up
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