Startup Dictionary – An Urban-Dictionary for Startups

Startup speek is bullshit speek that requires translation. So I’ve created a Startup Dictionary to be like the Urban Dictionary for Startups. I hope this Startup Dictionary helps you distill truth from doublespeak.

  • Agile – The excuse developers use for coding without a plan and running around in circles
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) – The living embodiment of the Shakespeare line, “first kill all the lawyers.” It is AI that will replace the lawyers, accountants, and marketeers.  Look for a new AI app to answer spam email and phone calls.
  • Award Winning – Pre-revenue company
  • Big Data – Big deal
  • Blockchain – Something that someday is going to be extremely valuable and important to people other than those people getting rich  running blockchain conferences
  • Bootstrap – An idea either so good that it funds itself or so bad that no one will fund it
  • Business Developer – Someone who will be making phone calls all day, every day to people who don’t pick up the phone
  • Change Agent – A nag or in Yiddish, Yenta
  • Crypto-Currency – See Blockchain
  • DCInno – Snot Rag
  • Disruptive – Makes everything that nobody used or needed obsolete
  • Elevator Pitch – Cramming 10 minutes of abstract meaningless jargon into a 30-second sentence that could be repeated in less than 30, if it wasn’t so jingoistic, intended to make the audiences head spin
  • Evangelist – The person in a company that is so boring, they get promoted to spend all their time on the road at conferences annoying others
  • Game Changer – Consumer product companies slap the words, New and Improved, on tired old products so people will believe it isn’t the same old shit… startups replace the words new and improved with Game-Changing, meaning same old shit, new package.
  • Growth Hacker – Someone who surfs the web all day for porn and claims credit for any lead that comes in from the website
  • Hackathon – Hackathons are to creating software what laser tag is to waging war.
  • Initial Coin Offering (ICO) – A way for startups to raise money from people who shouldn’t be investing in startups
  • Ideate – Something that idiots do
  • Kickass – Filler word used when your elevator-pitch doesn’t have enough words
  • Ninja – Used when hiring to hide the fact that the job is for a low paid cube dwelling worker bee. Usage: We’re looking for a Ninja Business Developer
  • Paradigm Shift – What happens when your Paradigm changes position
  • Pivot – Finding out your plan sucks and trying to pretend you thought of a better strategy
  • Product – Product? WTF is that?
  • Revolutionary – 2X Disruptive
  • Rockstar – See Ninja
  • Startup – 9 times out of 10 a bad idea being pitched as a company
  • Strategic Partnership – Failing companies announce Strategic Partnerships when they allow someone to use their product for free because they can’t find anyone who will pay them. Usage: Evan Burfield announces that Union has signed a strategic partnership with TechStars.
  • Technical.Ly DC – Digital Toilet Paper
  • Thought Leader – Someone who strings words together in complicated patterns that no one, including said thought leader knows what it means but every thought leader in the audience keeps shaking their head saying, “I see.”
  • Unicorn – When used by an investor it means he overpaid on his investment. When used by an entrepreneur, he overestimates the value of his idea.
  • Sweat Equity – Slave Labor