March 19, 2015

Corporate Sniglets

Corporate Sniglets This might be showing my age, but those who may have watched Not Necessarily the News in the 80s might remember the Sniglets segment that Rich Hall pioneered which spawned a series of short, fun books. Sniglets are words which are not in the dictionary, but which should be. I can remember a couple of examples from years ago that make the point — aquadexterity is the ability to operate bathtub dials with one’s feet; cheedle is the orange residue left on one’s fingers after eating a bag of Cheetos. As is the case with many companies, we have made up some of our own words over the years at Return Path – think of them as Corporate Sniglets. I’m sure we have more than these, but here are a few that we use internally: Underlap is the opposite of Overlap. My colleague Tom Bartel coined this gem years ago when he was leading the integration work on an acquisition we did, as in “let’s look for areas of Overlap as well as areas of Underlap (things that neither companies does, but which we should as a combined company).” Pre-Mortem or Mid-Mortem are the timing opposites of Post-Mortem. […]


June 7, 2012

How Creative Do You Have to Be?

How Creative Do You Have to Be? To follow up on last week’s post about the two types of entrepreneurs, I hear from people all the time that they can’t be an entrepreneur because they’re not creative.  I used to say that myself, but Mariquita reminds me periodically that that’s nonsense…and as a case in point, I didn’t have the original idea that gave birth to Return Path James Marciano did.  And I didn’t have the original idea to create a deliverability business, George Bilbrey did.  Or an inbox organizer consumer application, Josh Baer did. But I still consider myself […]


September 22, 2011

Who Are Your CPO and COO?

Who Are Your CPO and COO? Every senior management team needs a CPO and a COO.  No, I’m not talking about Privacy and Operations.  I’m talking about Paranoia and Optimism.  On my leadership team at Return Path, many of us are Paranoid and many of us are Optimistic, and many of us can play both roles.  But I’m fortunate to have two business partners who are the Chiefs – George Bilbrey is our Chief Paranoia Officer, and Anita Absey is our Chief Optimism Officer.  Those monikers fit their respective roles (product and sales) as well as their personalities. My view […]