Buzzword Bingo at TASER

Have you ever played Buzzword Bingo? Legendary in the halls of Corporate America thanks to some enterprising computer programmers and this classic Dilbert cartoon, Buzzword Bingo is just like regular Bingo, except you substitute popular business buzzwords for numbers. Fill in a row, and you've got Bingo. It makes for great entertainment during otherwise tedious meetings.

The game also works for press releases if you create a scorecard for common hyperbole. Usable words and phrases include scaleable, revolutionize, up-and-coming, synergy, leading, best in class, and so on. Still with me? Great! Now, go read this release. It's OK; I'll wait.

When did you get Bingo? I got it here: "[T-RAD] will truly be a cost effective method of force multiplication that incorporates multiple proven technologies to create a powerful, new, non-lethal capability which is scalable for the U.S. military and security arenas."

Of course, the mere fact that we're using an important announcement for TASER (Nasdaq: TASR  ) shareholders as bait for Buzzword Bingo is less than reassuring. A tech geek like me shouldn't have to call a spokesperson to figure out what, exactly, the new T-RAD device is. But that's what I did.

What I found is an intriguing idea, though a little reminiscent of the old Terminator movies. (SkyNet, anyone?) In short, T-RAD houses several TASER pistols in a tripod frame that can be controlled remotely by computer. Several of them may be networked into a facilitywide defense system, which the company calls TASERNET.

That may prove appealing to the military buyers TASER has been trying to court. Why? In Iraq and elsewhere, U.S. forces face a challenge to distinguish civilians from insurgents. Too often, mistakes lead to fatalities. TASERNET aims to reduce such casualties while preserving defenses.

It's a compelling story, which makes the buzzword-laden press release all the more bizarre. So, Rick, Tom, and the rest of you on the TASER management team, please take a memo: Your core story is good enough. There's no need to lace it with superlatives designed to convince investors and the world that you've built something important. We get it.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers isn't easily shocked, but he's pretty sure a TASER shot would do the trick. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. Get the skinny on everything Tim is invested in by checking his Fool profile. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is a rebel with a cause.


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