Buzzwords might earn you venture capital, but they won’t make a good product.


Your startup is social. Local. Mobile. Viral. Paradigm-shifting. Minimalist. Disruptive. Stealth. Scalable. Agile. Robust. Curated. Perhaps it even uses the social graph. Maybe it will pivot. Guess what? You’re not alone. Somehow, every other startup has had the same idea – and it isn’t helping anybody.

The primary goal of many modern startups is simply to gain venture capital, then they intend to figure out what service or product they will actually provide. Color, anyone? As a result of this, founders have searched for a way to impress investors, or to tell them exactly what they want to hear. What do they want to hear, you ask? Buzzwords. Consequently, just about every startup searching for funding is using the same words and the same phrases. Inconceivably, the same investors seem to be ‘buying it’ every single time.

It isn’t that the founders or marketers behind these new startups are trying to frustrate those in the startup community, or that they actually believe what they are saying. No, they’re forced into using these kind of buzzwords in order to attract the interest they need for their product to succeed.

Just using these kinds of buzzwords does not guarantee a high quality product, in fact, it can guarantee the opposite. So instead of focusing on such crude marketing tactics, investors and founders alike need to move, well, back, to a time in which the product is what is most important. Which is exactly how it should be.

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6 Responses

  1. Great article, but I’m not sure that pressure from VCs is the ONLY reason some startups use those buzzwords. Many just think it makes them look cool.

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