The Stranger’s Paul Constant is clearly feeling a little cranky, and you might disagree with his perspective, but for anyone immersed in the startup world, his all-out rant about a startup event in Seattle this week is worth a read as an exercise in self-awareness.
Yes, the portrayal might feel like a caricature, but it also might have a ring of truth — particularly the parts about the language commonly used in the startup world. Here’s an excerpt from his summary of the presentations and discussions at this week’s Startup Riot event.
They praise the “cool ecosystem” between a traveler and a concierge. They assure each other that “Our retail metrics are cost-effective.” They use “input” as a verb, as in, “They turn to our app and input the selections.” “Mobile multitasking in real time” is a promised result. Nobody communicates, they “engage.” Everything is “curated.” They pronounce “integral” like “in-trickle.” They ask each other, “What’s the biggest challenge going forward?” and they decide together that “it’s a marketing challenge, at the end of the day.” They discuss how one app is “a purpose-built tool” with “added value.” There are no words, no photographs, no graphic design. It’s all “content,” which is “consumed.” The event’s website features a Twitter testimonial that reads, “Startup Riot was so good yesterday I couldn’t tweet. I was just deeply engaged in meaningful 1-on-1 conversations.” It’s linguistic nihilism, in which everything means nothing and nothing means anything at all.
And he’s just getting started. Read the full piece here. Unfair or on-the-mark?