20 Cliches, Geek Terms Banned From CompTIA’s Stage

Vince Tinnirello

Vince Tinnirello

Vince Tinnirello is driving tectonic change that could disrupt technology conferences worldwide. Will we all pivot in time?

Here’s the background: Like a pack of political outsiders promising to shake up Washington, Anchor Network Solutions CEO Vince Tinnirello and several channel influencers (Ingram’s Jason Bystrak, Datto’s Samantha Ciaccia and Exigo Group’s Stephanie Martin among them) banned 20 terms, cliches and geek references for all panelists at this week’s CompTIA Annual Member Meeting in Chicago.

Here’s the list. And just to clarify: CompTIA didn’t develop or endorse the list. This seemed to be a member-driven revolution… And for those keeping score at home, we’ve identified how often ChannelE2E has written each term or phrase in our online coverage since the site launched in September 2015. (Counts are current as of noon ET, March 24, 2016)…

  1. At the End of the Day: Three times but never by yours truly.
  2. Big Data: We’re embarrassed to share the figure (or perhaps we just can’t count that high).
  3. Born in the Cloud: Thrice (that’s one more than twice).
  4. Echo That: Never.
  5. Ecosystem: Too often to mention.
  6. Engage: Hmmm… Far more than we expected.
  7. Holistic: Less than 20
  8. Grass Roots: Once
  9. Go-to-Market Strategy: Four times.
  10. Paradigm Shift: Never
  11. Pick Up Where You Left Off: Never
  12. Piggy Back: Never
  13. Reach Out: Eleven … (as in… “These go to 11.“)
  14. Skin in the Game: Once
  15. Sooner rather than later: Never
  16. Strategic: Approaching inifinity
  17. Traction: About 20
  18. Trusted Advisor: Seven times… but never again by us…
  19. Value Proposition: Ten times
  20. Vis-a-vis: Not in our vocabulary.

And, for safe keeping: The hand-written banned list… Allegedly penned by Vince himself…


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    Steve Noel:

    I love Vince like a brother and he has had this as a bug-a-boo (hope that isn’t on the list) of his for all the years that I have known him. While many of these terms get over used, and often misused, the reality is everyone in our industry knows what these terms mean without going into a long discussion. Just like other words and phrases like MSP, RMM, PSA, IaaS, DRaaS, BDR, and the list goes on and on. I personally don’t feel that it is in the best interest of the industry or the community to limit someone else’s ability to communicate the way they want to or need to to get their point across in the most understandable way, just because some don’t like certain phrases or words. let’s please keep this practice to the hallways and bars as a fun drinking game as opposed to an acceptable way to conduct industry communications, especially at an event that is designed to promote collaboration and communication .

    Max Pruger:

    If we are successful at removing these phrases from our “geek” vocabulary they will inevitably be replaced by other possibly more annoying phrases. At the end of the day, as long as there’s substance in the communication and the phrases are not overused then it’ll be “all good” ;).


    Ted Roller:

    I am truly sorry I left early and missed this, but I feel blessed to have been part of some earlier versions of this and the states discussion. Another great AMM is in the books.

    Chris Phillips:

    I guess I need to reach out and engage better with Vince, to gain some traction with out go-to-market strategies around big data. At the end of the day, I would rather do it sooner rather than later, because I need to have skin in the game. It might be a paradigm shift, or simply a grassroots effort to pick up where I left off but at the end of the day, the whole ecosystem could become a major value proposition to becoming a born in the cloud strategist.

      Amy Katz:

      Your comment is worthy of its own post. Nice job. ABK

    Joe Panettieri:

    Found: A conversation that has finally silenced me 😉

    Lorna Garey:

    I would argue that not one of those is a geek term.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Lorna: Admittedly, the “geek” word was a shameless insert on my part to get more traffic. And that’s fodder for another blog another day, no doubt.

    Lorna Garey:

    I grok that. Hope you have the bandwidth to compile that — if so, ping me. 🙂

    Vince Tinnirello:

    Steve this was all in good fun during a community meeting where we were challenging the panelists and speaker not to use any cliches. It was all in good fun and you know what happened? People were listening instead of reading their phones. So if that’s what it takes to have a little more fun and participation in our meetings, why not have fun with it. Can’t believe how seriously this has been taken. The panelists and attendees had fun with it. That’s all.

    Oh and Chris nicely done brother man!

    Christy Sacco:

    Have to add ‘win win’ to the list. Or even better win win win! Really bummed that I could not make it to AMM this time.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hey Christy: Let us know where/when you’re on the road. We look forward to catching up. Thanks for all of your support over the years. -jp

    Scott Holtzman:

    Unless you are a member of the Four Tops (or possibly a cover band) you should not be reaching out to anyone.

    May I call you back at another time or I will call you to check on your progress (insert date here and honor commitment).

    Being polite never goes out of style. Our clients know we love them by our deeds not our words.

    Vince Tinnirello:

    Joe, as an update to this list I’d like to add “lean in, let’s double click into that, and ping.”

    Joe Panettieri:

    Well, Vince: You jinxed me. A few minutes after reading your comment I used the “double-click” line in a podcast conversation. It’s like that bad song you just can’t get out of your head. Thanks for that. 😉


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