30 Tech/Start-up Clichés

  • Web-comics that show life before and after smart phones
  • Tech articles using the word Finally to announce a product that has only been rumored for 6 months
  • Startups with origin stories more fictional than the entire Marvel Comics pantheon — Rejection from a top start-up & having a moment of clarity is the new Death Of Uncle Ben
  • New products that are described as Google/Samsung/Apple killers
  • Commentary on what Steve Jobs would and wouldn’t do
  • Commentary on what Tim Cook should and shouldn’t do
  • Elon Musk career retrospectives
  • Former corporate success stories who quit their jobs and now make a living travelling the world and blogging about how you too can quit your job and travel the world blogging about…
  • Billion dollar tech companies saying “Here’s to the Misfits”
  • Founders who were told to come up with solutions, and are now brainstorming non-existent problems as a starting point
  • Webinars
  • Articles that are anti X starting with “I’m not anti X — in fact, I used to use X all the time”
  • Moving fast and breaking things
  • Embracing “the cloud”
  • Saying “disruptive” when we mean “exactly like Uber”
  • Sharing Economy startups that don’t like to share
  • Geniuses, Visionaries and Aaron Sorkin’s version of Steve Jobs
  • Using the word “Hack/Hacker” in basically anything that isn’t a William Gibson novel
  • Calling “blind, desperate, clutching panic” a “pivot”
  • Comparing Apple, Uber, Tesla, Google or any other organisation that isn’t a religion to a religion for a cheap shot
  • Content based websites who employ interns rather than hiring writers
  • Talking about a startup’s DNA — Because the only interesting DNA is Dinosaur DNA in Jurassic Park
  • Espousing the importance of diversity whilst not really bothering to hire women or POC
  • Mission statements that get more focus than business models
  • Developers who hate marketers
  • Marketers who don’t understand developers
  • Startup videos with gentle hipster music and way too many cutaways
  • Ninjas, Gurus and the word “Sumo”
  • Blog posts about how “I built a startup and failed and here’s what I learned and…”
  • Old world media websites who think that listicles and quizzes are what made Buzzfeed more successful than them

Some Additional Submissions:

Thought Leadership — Big Volcano

Failing fast, where failing is 3 weeks worth of work (so you…gave up?) — Rich Wilner


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