Whitman Voices


Whitman Workbook: Essential Business Terms and Phrases

Whitman Workbook: Essential Business Terms and Phrases

Welcome to the Whitman Workbook! This workbook serves as a source of working definitions and phrases for Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management undergraduate and graduate students.

The Whitman Workbook is a collection of essential terms and phrases to understand during your time in the business school. Each week there will be new words and definitions from our faculty.

Omnichannel (noun) refers to a coordinated retail offering that provides a seamless and synchronized customer experience, using all of the retailer’s shopping channels.

Bottleneck (noun) is a step in a sequential process which limits the capacity (capability) of the whole system.

Pivot (noun) is a major change to a business model, such as how you make money, the customer profile, or the value proposition. Entrepreneurs must be open to pivots even a lot of resources have been spent getting the latest version right. Build, test and adjust iterations quickly to prevent expensive pivots.

The Availability Heuristic (noun) is a decision-making strategy or shortcut in which you focus on the most readily available information or information that is easy to bring to mind. Just experienced a hurricane in your area? You are more likely to purchase insurance to protect yourself after a natural disaster you’ve just experienced than before it happens. That disaster is on the top of your mind, so your decisions are affected by it.

Bootstrapping (verb) is the practice of self-funding your business with the funds you already have, being creative, and engaging in tactics like bartering. Entrepreneurs that combine knowledge, skills, and experience with savings to launch and grow a business without external funding. Most founders start on this route.

Machine learning (noun) is a subset of artificial intelligence in which we “teach” the computer how to make a prediction such as predicting the “fair” selling price of a property in real estate.

 Minimum Viable Product (MVP) (noun) is the first few versions of a product that include just the core features to test the riskiest assumptions before building the next iteration with more advanced features. This allows entrepreneurs to test ideas quickly without spending resources in a product that may or may not work.

Karley Warden