Quit Talking and Acting Like a Startup Douche

One of the things I dislike the most about our industry are the God awful terms and trends that everyone seems so eager to adopt. I’ve made a conscious effort over the past year to avoid these things like the plague.

Unfortunately, when you hang out in startup circles, you’re bound to encounter those who try to fit by acting the part. Tragically, these people have been misinformed by PandoDaily and TechCrunch. They think that everyone else talks and acts this way, when in fact, they’re just isolating themselves as a douche.

So, without further ado, these are my top annoyances:

  1. When pitching your company, you start every sentence with “so” and end with “right?”. Bonus: You wear a hoodie to a VC meeting.
  2. You enunciate EVERY letter of EVERY word to the extreme. If I have to hear another one of these people say “important” enunciated again, I’m going cut out their tongue.
  3. You consider yourself a “technical founder” because you took an online Rudy on Rails course.
  4. You think that Paul Graham is God. Have you actually seen the design of his blog?
  5. You define yourself as a “growth hacker”.
  6. Any of the following words are in your vocabulary: “optics”, “disruption”, “pivot”, “hustle”, “hack”, “MVP”, “ubiquitous”, “democratize”, “iterate”, “ecosystem”, “fragmented”, “exit” and last, but certainly not least, “meritocracy”.
  7. You don’t think you’re a wantrepreneur. Fuck me, that word should probably be in the list above.
  8. You actually think that “failing” is cool. WTF?
  9. You mention the sale of your small college business as a “successful exit” on your AngelList profile.
  10. You think describing yourself as a college dropout is cool. Again, WTF?
  11. You actually believe the hype and bullshit that TechCrunch is selling.
  12. You constantly share startup wisdoms on your social feeds. FML.
  13. You act like your top shit around other founders, but fall to your knees like a bitch when Dave McClure walks into a room.
  14. You think by not responding to emails immediately, it proves you’re “crushing it”.
  15. You think that Dave Morin is cool. Seriously?

  • “say “important” enunciated”
    “Rudy on Rails”.
    “your top shit”

    So, you didn’t even bother checking this article for mistakes, right?

  • I don’t really understand the problem with #6.
    “Google and Facebook are impossible to compete with, because they are ubiquitous.”
    “Our product relies on fiber optics.”

    It sounds like you must have failed in every one of your last endeavors; poor thing must be bitter.

  • “You actually think that “failing” is cool. WTF?”
    I admire those who fail and celebrate the lessons they’ve got to learn in the whole process. That’s cool to me, it make you an unstoppable entrepreneur.

  • Haha Great Post! Gotta say I have been through all that, after 4 startups (college) after college! I realized real Entrepreneurs are heroes with thousand faces! So be it and make it happen!

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