Welcome to biz speak: a language that was invented by the Silicon Valley to help explain why a company can make perfect sense even when it does nothing at all.
Biz speak really started with the notion that technology means we all have higher incomes, lower debt, more time to enjoy the game, less expensive food and everything else anyone and everyone wants.
Biz speak, to be sure, does not include the term Silicon Valley, which originated when the business section of the New York Times used it instead of Silicon Valley.
Once upon a time, Silicon Valley was supposed to mean the Valley itself. And at first it did.
But then the valley became Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach and so on. Nobody believes anything is coming out of Silicon Valley any more. It just happens to be next door, which gets you into the headline, which you deserve.
The contraction of Silicon Valley came because the Valley was scared, as was the rest of the country, to run headlong into consumer technology.
Biz speak, the primary word that defines these two schools of thought, was invented by Steve Jobs and Satya Nadella, the two men who led their respective companies, Apple and Microsoft.
Nadella was famously quoted in 2014 as saying “Our biggest pain point is people in our organization do not have work-life balance” and that he would “speak about it.”
Jobs was quoted as saying “Productivity is not just about getting more work done. It’s about being better at getting what you already have done.”
This was standard Silicon Valley, something everyone wanted to own. And now Steve Jobs is gone, and Satya Nadella has lost its edge, and all we really have left is Band-Aids.
Biz speak tells a story of pain, of service, of how you help the customer. It tells a story of how you connect to people with technology, or is it a story of how you ship the product. It uses words like “service” and “relationship.”
Here are the three main reasons: first, the Baby Boomers are not going to fall to their death, and everyone wants to grab for something they think will save their life, some way to contribute. Second, these business people now in politics understand that without the tech founders they are going to have a hard time creating workable policies for our disappearing middle class.
Third, a lot of people have assumed, with their excitement over “anything” and their seeming quiet acceptance of all that goes into it, that we don’t really have any rules for how “we” do business anymore.
But we do.
And we have businesses to govern them.
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(Scott Simmons / The Washington Post)