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Tuesday April 28, 2020 |Notes

Jargon indicates opportunity

Industry jargon is often a sign of opportunity. Jargon is created to obfuscate information from outsiders and newbies, while creating enclosed inner circles of knowledge and control. Unlocking and making jargon-laden industries accessible to all breaks these barriers and unlocks value for the outsiders.

Ryan Peterson, the CEO and founder of Flexport, discussed this recently on the Anatomy of Next podcast. Flexport is a logistics and freight-forwarding company founded in 2013. Trade and logistics is one of the oldest industries, and naturally has a number of entrenched companies that prefer to keep the industry difficult for outsiders. There are near endless fees, extremely antiquated systems, and of course, plenty of jargon. Making the logistics industry more accessible and jargon-free propelled Flexport to grow to over $500 million in revenue in just 5 years.

There are many examples of artificial barriers, like jargon, with the intent of withholding information from outsiders. These barriers create unnecessary friction, add costs, and reduce efficiency. Look for opportunities to reduce barriers, created efficiency, and unlock value.