The “platform”, or rant about weasel words

(update – 1st published February 17, 2016)

Once upon a time the word “platform” had a precise meaning.

platform definition

Then marketers, politicians and all other sorts of vendors arrived and …

“Platform” became a weasel word!

Indeed, using weasel words is tempting.

You may want to hide your ignorance. Or you may need to avoid an unresolved conflict.

The cocoon of weasel words feels so good. But this comes at a price.

There is always a person in your audience, who is sensitive to bullshitting. A red light blinks in their brain with every weasel word. “Again one who has no nothing to say!” And they do not always remain silent.

But the “P” word is not only a maker of bad reputation. It works as a newer version of powerful anti-meeting spell too. Once you cast it, it opens never ending exchanges. And there is no way to get anything done. (Some my use it in purpose, indeed.)

The worse is when everyone believes to get it and start working on without saying a word. Only later they find out to understand each one something else. So even a bigger exchange comes with even higher costs. And it is never easy to start working together after an epic blamestorming session.

And all this is only your fault — You were ambiguous.

everything is platform dilbert
Powerful anti-meeting spell by Dilbert

Be platform specific

Making a fool of yourself may be your personal business, indeed.

But do not blame others for not doing what you wanted. You did not say it. Others have to interpret your thoughts. And this always spells a bias.

plafotm shoePut yourself into others’ platform shoes

Make up your mind about what you actually want and say out loud with no ambiguity: “my purpose is to”:

  • develop an informational or social network or collaborative website;
  • create a community of people for networking;
  • launch a political movement;
  • buy a cool bed;
  • take a train or build a railway station;
  • get into oil business;
  • chat with people on Twitter and Facebook

Your statements might be less stupendous. It might take a little more time and effort to think. But once you get to be specific, fantastic things start happening.

Your projects shall end within foreseen deadline.
You will spend less time on steering them.

It’ll look just as all happen by itself.
And it is kind of true.

But after all, you may be a fun making person. And to transvestite your words on purpose is a

great platform for comedy

So let’s entertain people with a lot of “platforming” …