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We’re in the last thirty days of Q1, and you know what that means! March Madness Bay-Beeeeee! We’ve decided to join in on the championship festivities by running a tournament our own, featuring the baddest buzziest Buzzwords from around the worlds of tech and business!

The thirty-two title-seekers have been divvied into four divisions and ranked them from most groan-inducing to least-ludicrous. The Big Four Divisions are: Marketing, Management, C-Suite, and Complete Nonsense. They’re gonna battle it out to see who’s the Best and who’s the rest.

Will “Synergy” bring it all together and take the title? Can “Drill Down” work up the buzz to make it to the big game? Is “Quick Win” in for the long-haul? It’s time to hold up the corporate branded aluminum water-bottle you got from HR over the holidays and raise a toast to all the competitors in the 2021 Newegg Business Buzzword Championship Tournament!

The 2021 Newegg Business Buzzword Bracket
Who’s the Buzzer to beat?

Marketing Division

Top Contender: “Disruption” on a steady track to the top.

The number one spot here is also the one we expect to take the whole division, though maybe not the conference. “Disruption,” is on a steady pace to take first place, as just about anyone who doesn’t know exactly how to quantify the effect of their product loves to fall back on this reliable gem. “Disruption” got here by being unshakable, a constant player in the world of people who are talking without really saying anything.

Unless something really really unexpected and dramatic happens to somehow wildly alter the course of events from their current trajectory, “Disruption” seems to be the same old top of the hill champion it always is. Ho hum.

Sleeper: “Evangelist” the quietest contender.

There’s one word that most have been overlooking, even though it’s just as ridiculous and buzzy as any other contender. “Evangelist” has quietly made it here on pure grit and moxie but no one is talking about it! Even though this word buzzes from the lips of business babblers in abundance, there’s no chatter charting its charge for a chance at the championship. Keep an eye on this quiet contender.

Their matches are sure to be exciting even if they don’t seem to have many fans.

Best first-round game: “Content is King” vs “Big Data” has the numbers to put on an amazing show.

Since the beginning of the season all signs have pointed to this match up. It’s the one everyone has been looking forward to, and it’s sure not to disappoint. The stats all seem to be in favor of “Big Data” but “Content is King” always puts on a good show.

Ultimately neither of these phrases really mean much, but if the numbers are to be believed than this is sure to be the can’t-miss game of the first round, maybe the whole tournament!

Upset: “Visibility’s” path to victory could be overshadowed by “Customer Journey”

If it’s going to happen, it’s going to be “Customer Journey” over “Visibility.” “Visibility” has always been on the radar but in recent games, they just haven’t shown up!

“Customer Journey” is nearing the end of a long road, and while many people think the first round will be their last stop, sharp observers know they might just have what it takes to go much much longer.

Final Four Pick: “Disruption”

Management Division

Top Contender: “Alignment” has everything falling into place.

The number one seed in the division, “Alignment” has just had everything go their way this season. It’s not that surprising. For a buzzword that’s often used to replace the phrase “you need to do better,” it has done just fine bringing its drive and motivation into the same order of events that would be congruent with its championship aspirations. This word is easily the fan favorite as it also draws in motor-heads and D&D enthusiasts.

There’s a chaotic good chance that this Buzzword will breeze through the first few rounds on its track to a tournament title.

Sleeper: “Buy-In” the scrappy contender no one signed on for.

No one can believe it but “Buy-In” has a real chance. Vegas has it at fairly decent odds yet still there are very few takers. But this Buzzword can’t be kept down! It could easily be replaced with the much more meaningful and real words like “approval,” and still year after year, meeting after meeting, project after project mid-level managers decide they’d rather ask for “Buy-In” than ask for “permission.”

This Buzzword has the potential to go far. If we haven’t convinced you already, nothing will.

Best first-round game: “Dogfooding” vs “Pain Point” self-sufficient savant against active aggravation.

This matchup could really go either way. “Dogfooding” has a tight playbook but it knows it forward and backward, and it’s gotten the Buzzword this far. But “Pain Point” presents a potential problem, as this Buzzword sounds much better than the word “problem,” and that means managerial types will never stop falling back on this problem-adjacent euphemism.

“Dogfooding” is a ridiculous name for something that’s actually a really good idea and in the world of Buzzword competition, that credibility could be boon or bane.

Upset: “Bandwidth” carries the match to give “Quick Win” an early loss.

“Quick Win” comes out of the gate hot and heavy, and it’s hard for a competitor to regain their balance once they’ve been pushed that hard that early. But if anyone has the capability, it’s “Bandwidth.” When someone in business wants to say, “We cannot take on another project right now. Please for the love of all that’s good and right in this world do not place this responsibility on our shoulders,” without actually saying it, they usually tap “Bandwidth.” And that makes “Bandwidth” a very popular Buzzword.

“Quick Win,” is good at making waves, but for reliability it’s hard to beat “Bandwidth.”

Final Four Pick: “Alignment”

C-Suite Division

Top Contender: “Return on Investment” profits from Division values.

No surprise here, the C-Suite loves two things above all else: Money and three-letter acronyms. And since “Return on Investment” or “RoI” basically boils down to “money” it was a shoe in for the number one slot. That’s not to say it didn’t earn it.

The C-Suite division represents some of the strongest Buzzword competitors in the business of business. But “RoI” put in the time and now it’s reaping the profits. Can those dividends pay out all the way to the final four? Their odds look good on paper, but the tournament is demanding and has drained the buzz off more than a few words in the past, and “RoI” has some pretty stiff competition.

It’s gonna take a lot of “I” before they see any “R,” and take the “W.”

Sleeper: “Drill Down” flew up the ranks, and could even reach the top.

If you’re looking for a dark horse to carry your money all the way to the big game, we recommend doing some fact finding on “Drill Down.” At a glance it may look a lot like its cross-division rival “Deep Dive,” but a little more rigorous research will reveal that those similarities cease beyond the surface. “Drill Down” benefits from being much more aggressive than “Deep Dive,” and the C-Suite loves a nice assertive Buzzword. It says, “we want more information, so get digging!”

It’s ranking doesn’t represent the potential it has, but if you don’t trust us you’re welcome to run the numbers yourself.

Best first-round game: “Unpack” vs “The Box” will lay everything out on the table.

This is a grudge-match that goes back almost as far as business Buzzwords themselves. There’s a lot of history to dissect here. “The Box,” is one of the elites, the originals, and it’s reworked its playbook more times than we can easily count. It’s been thought outside of, reworked, operated within, blown up, torn apart, folded, opened, and collapsed, and still year after year you hear it again.

C-Suite loves talking about “The Box” but they also love “Unpacking,” as it’s a clever way to say “I don’t understand, I need it explained to me,” in a way that still sounds dignified and not at all like someone who has no clue what’s going on.

Expect “Unpack” to pull out all the stops, and take everything out of “The Box” in the process.

Upset: “Move the Needle” dominates the pitch and dunks on “Ballpark.”

In first round upsets, watch “Ballpark” vs “Move the Needle.” “Ballpark” is one of those sports analogy Buzzwords that used to dominate business talk, and there’s a reason why it has stood the test of time better than the other analogies, or sport from which it’s derived. “Ballpark,” is a great way for the C-Suite division to say “guess” without sounding like they’re stabbing in the dark.

But “Ballpark” has been around for just about roughly sixty to one-hundred-twenty years or so give or take, in that area. “Move the Needle” on the other hand sounds impactful, important, you take notice when this Buzzword enters the conversation. “Move the Needle” is newer to the scene but has been catching a lot of attention and that’s kinda what it’s all about.

Unless “Ballpark” can make some really noticeable improvements, expect “Move the Needle” to knock this one out of the . . . water.

Final Four Pick: “Return on Investment” (But we’ll be keeping a late round eye on “Drill Down” for the upset)

Complete Nonsense Division

Top Contender: “Synergy” maximizes opportunity actualization, and achieves gains on positioning.

“Synergy” is one of the Buzzwords that started it all. It is a much fancier way to say almost anything. Sure it literally means “the interaction of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate parts,” and if you or anyone you know has ever used it in that sense, kudos to you. Much more frequently you hear it used to mean “teamwork,” or “cooperation,” which are close but not really what the word means.

Then you have those that use “Synergy” for almost anything else in the world. Maximized profits? That’s “Synergy.” Plans executed to perfection? Beautiful example of “Synergy.” Everyone really liked the most recent advertising? “Synergy” baby! It’s all “Synergy” and no matter how long the Buzzword sticks around, or how far beyond its original meaning it is stretched, no one seems able to let go of this very versatile Buzzword. And it’s that type of synergy that could take “Synergy” all the way to the big game.

If they can remain synergistic that is.

Sleeper: “Freemium” The first taste is always free.

“Freemium” has everything it takes to be the top Buzzword. It makes very little sense, it contains the tastiest parts of two other big business phrases, and it rhymes with the more important of those two words “premium.” Sound like an over simplification? It is and that’s exactly why it’s our sleeper pick.

This Buzzword may be on the newer side but the concept has been around as long as cable packages or drug deals. Get the client hooked on the free sample, then jack up the price when they need the more important features. This is definitely one of those spoonful-of-sugar Buzzwords that we love to throw around and it works for everyone.

Clients are happy cause they hear “free,” and we’re happy cause we hear “ca-ching.”

Best first-round game: “Vaporware” vs “Futureware” the most heated rivalry between non-existent contestants.

This division rivalry has been a long time coming and we are very excited to see if either team shows up. After all, both Buzzwords are made-up phrases for products that don’t and may never exist. “Futureware,” keeps telling us that it’s coming. That if we just keep hanging on a little longer we’ll be in for one hell of a show.

That sounds great, but then “Vaporware” swears it’s already arrived. And it’s hard to argue with that. Sure we may not exactly understand what “Vaporware’s” game plan is, or how it does what it does . . . or even if it does anything. But people keep buying tickets so they must be doing something right.

We don’t really know what this matchup will look like, but we can hardly wait to finally see it.

Upset: “Legacy” could be on its way to first title if it can educate “Advertainment”

“Advertainment” has gone a long way by being the discount “Freemium.” It’s got the two words smashed together and those two words are comprised of something we like but also something the clients like. But “Advertainment” isn’t as graceful as “Freemium” and as much as people love being entertained, they loathe being advertised to. Also, “Advertainment” isn’t really a Buzzword worthy concept. It basically describes any commercial that’s more lighthearted than the Sarah McLachlan, “in the arms of the angels” ASPCA adds, and that’s the vast majority of them.

“Legacy” however is the young up-and-comer that’s being adopted all over the business space. Nobody likes to say “old” anymore, especially when you’re discussing tech and systems that you may be working with. “Legacy” sounds like a Destiny DLC, it sounds sexy, it sounds powerful and important. It makes running Windows XP on all your workstations seem really classy and refined, and not at all like you can’t afford to upgrade to a more current OS and all the subsequent upgrades that would force on your budget. So you take the refined choice and use “Legacy” software.

The young upstart “Legacy” helps save face and that might just earn it a satisfying win over dusty old “Advertainment.”

Final Four Pick: Synergy

Ben Tibbels

Author Ben Tibbels

Forged in the fiery heart of Nebraska, this comedian turned tech writer enjoys video games, tabletop RPGs, board games, fantasy novels, and craft beer. He lives in LA with his bride-to-be and their two corgis, Carl and Fry.

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