Valley Speak: Deciphering the Jargon of Silicon Valley

Share Article

Rochelle Kopp and Steven Ganz launch Kickstarter to self-publish a book of definitions for over 100 Silicon Valley terms

Unicorpse…BYOD…vesting cliff…iterate…X for Y…growth hacking…total addressable market… Silicon Valley’s jargon can be impenetrable. When Rochelle Kopp and Steven Ganz moved to Silicon Valley, they had a certain keenness towards language, with Rochelle being an author and intercultural consultant and Steven being a student of programming languages. They found themselves intrigued by how Silicon Valley has a language all its own. As they worked with businesses in Silicon Valley, including startups, they came to understand and appreciate the terminology, and wanted to make it more accessible.

While doing research for a Japanese book about the jargon of Silicon Valley, Kopp and Ganz discovered that no similar book existed in English. They decided to create an expanded English version of the book titled Valley Speak: Deciphering the Jargon of Silicon Valley. They just launched a Kickstarter ( to self-publish the project, and hope to raise at least $4,000 to cover the design and production of the book.

“Our goal is to produce the definitive guide to the unique words used in the Bay Area startup scene, helping everyone from people who want to do business here to those who just want to watch HBO's Silicon Valley without being confused,” says Kopp. The book covers a wide range of topics, including chapters like “How Funding Happens” and “HR and Work Culture.”

In addition to the in-depth definitions offered by the book, each word is also illuminated further with quotes from well-known Silicon Valley names, everyone from Elon Musk to Tim Cook. “This book isn’t just a dictionary – we provide some context of where the terminology came from and how it is used, for better or worse, building on our technical, business, and linguistic perspectives,” says Ganz.

To make the crowdfunding – incidentally, that’s one of the words covered in the book – process even more fun, the Valley Speak Kickstarter is offering a variety of fun rewards including t-shirts, copies of the book, and a set of downloadable Silicon Valley themed bingo cards.


If you’d like more information about Valley Speak: Deciphering the Jargon of Silicon Valley, or to schedule an interview with Rochelle Kopp or Steven Ganz please email info(at)siliconvalleyspeak(dot)com or send them a Tweet @SVSpeak.

Rochelle Kopp is a management consultant with an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Yale. Steven Ganz is a start-up founder with a PhD in Computer Science from Indiana University, and Business and Engineering degrees from Wharton and University of Pennsylvania Engineering.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Steven Ganz
since: 11/2015
Follow >
Silicon Valley Speak
since: 12/2015
Like >
Visit website