Talk is cheap, especially when a pitch is filled with startup buzzwords. One of the huge benefits to last Sunday’s 2 minute quick pitch contest at everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference, was that many of the startups had very limited pitching experience. This also meant that they hadn’t picked up on bad habits, like filling their presentations with buzzwords, that can ultimately be seen as crutches.
Coming from a background with 20 years on commercial radio I am no stranger to crutches. DJ’s have a ton of buzzwords “on your radio”, “coming up,coming up,coming up”, and the always irritating repeating everything the person calling the radio station says to buy more time.
Well in the startup world crutches are also immensely popular. Things like “we’re not too concerned about revenue” or “we’re going to build virally and organically”, are complete turn offs to not just me but to investors who know all the buzzwords already.
Our good friends at Spinnakr.com just published a list of 37 things that new new entrepreneurs say. Here are 10 of them.
- This idea is unstoppable.
- Nothing else like this exists.
- Sorry, man . . . I can’t tell you unless you sign this NDA.
- We’re going to totally disrupt the market for [spy cams], [back scratchers], [player pianos], [hover bikes].
- We’re revolutionizing the way [flautists], [tug boat captains], [veterinary assistants], [cardio-pulmonary surgeons] approach [dating], [home improvement projects], [booking airline tickets], [personal hygiene].
- It’s tapping into the [future of the internet], [awesome purchasing power of secretaries], [real need affecting SAT tutors].
- We’re gamifying [sushi], [country music], [the LSAT], [eyebrow extensions].
- No one else can build what we’re building.
- These financial projections are conservative.
- We’re expecting hockey-stick growth curves, year after year.
You can see the rest of the list at the link below. While these may not be the most irritating of them all, you should get the idea.
When you’re pitching, whether it’s at the end of an accelerator demo day or your pitching in a VC’s office you need to kill them with your product, presentation and personality. Knowing the buzzwords doesn’t impress anybody.