8 phrases used by entrepreneurs that I hate

Entrepreneurs are often young, smart, energized, hard-working people who can occasionally be cocky.  They also tend to use “hip” phrases and business lingo whenever they can to prove how fucking cool they are in comparison to your inferior pleb life.  As a recovering entrepreneur myself I’m guilty of using some of the following phrases, but I’m making a conscious effort to tone it down.


Here are 8 of my most hated terms/phrases that entrepreneurs use.  I now cringe every time I hear them.

  1. ‘Trep’
    Some entrepreneurs refer to themselves as “treps.”  I’m convinced this is because they don’t know how to spell “entrepreneur.”  Is being an entrepreneur not hip or cool enough for you?  Do you really need to create a brand new name for yourself?  Or if you must call yourself something try using “Ent” instead.  At least then you can work a Tolkein reference into it.

  2. Move the needle
    The metaphor is meant to convey that some mediocre status is somehow increased in value through an action.  Usually, and hopefully, this causes a positive result much like a speedometer indicating increased speed.  The metaphor isn’t horrible but it’s overused so often that it loses any potency in my book. Whenever I hear it I want to take all those moved needles and jam them in my ear.needle

  3. Killing it
    More than likely you’re not killing it.  Uber is killing it.  Airbnb is killing it.  Facebook killed it.  Google killed it. Microsoft and AOL once killed it.  Your startup that went through an accelerator and received some follow-on funding is probably doing okay… and might actually do well in the future.  But right now—as of today—you’re not killing it.  Don’t kid yourselves and don’t lie to people you’re talking to, because the only thing I want to do when I hear it is kill the person saying it!

  4. It is what it is
    No! Stop it right now!  It is not just what it is.  No matter what “it” is, I can almost guarantee that you are using this dismissive phrase in a shitty manner.  This phrase amounts to a cop-out for people too lazy to work through a conversation.  Do not be that guy to resort to its use.  Don’t be a dick!

  5. Here’s my 2 cents…
    Invariably followed with some fucker’s desperate attempt to show how witty he is by also adding, “…which is worth about that much.”  Cue the laugh track because everyone has already heard that one.  Keep your change and opinions to yourself, and then go kill yourself because whatever crap is about to come pouring out of your mouth is probably horrible and not helpful. (This rant was easily worth a quarter.)2cents

  6. [insert something that may or may not be true], right?
    This is probably my most hated phrase.  It’s the rhetorical crutch that so many hipster entrepreneur douches use to convince you of something.  If you try to answer or take issue with the premise they’re advancing it’s already too late because they’ve moved on to their next vague point.  And for anyone listening or participating in the conversation it’s all too easy to be lulled into a hypnotic continual nodding of the head.  This is so overused now that I find myself rolling my eyes when I encounter it.  More than likely whatever you said right before “right?” is actually something that could be up for debate.  For example I actually heard someone last year say, “We all know that people today want to order their groceries using their smartphone, right? So it follows then that… blah blah blah.” Well, actually I enjoy going to the store sometimes so what you said is false.

  7. Cross-pollination
    Yuck. I feel like I need a shower.  It’s an okay term to use to get the point across that several different types of people with various talents can help/inspire/educate others within a group, but I always feel icky when hearing it. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be doused with a heavy helping of cross-pollination from anyone… especially art school hipsters.  Don’t get me wrong!  I’d probably enjoy talking to the person and learning from him/her.  But let’s call it something else that’s a little less orgy-esque.crosspollination

  8. At the end of the day…
    This list was meant to highlight a number of phrases used by entrepreneurs that sometimes annoy the crap out of me.  True—a lot of them are good short-hand ways to quickly get a concept across that everyone understands.  At the end of the day, however, I think we should really try to use them less.  Just my 2 cents.
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Why I’ll never hold the door open for strangers ever again


I’m done holding the door open for you people.  Seriously.  There are too many times I’ve done so without receiving a “thanks” or even the slightest acknowledgement that I did something nice for you.

As a rule I always hold used to hold the door open for people.  I was taught this was a simple and courteous thing you can do for people you don’t even know.  I was also taught that when someone holds the door open for you it’s polite to respond with “thank you” to let the person know their gesture was appreciated.

Walking out of Panera the other day I held the door open for a woman who was chatting away on her phone while simultaneously fumbling with a couple bags of food.  Instantly seeing an opportunity to make her life a little easier I sped up my pace to get to the door first and hold it open.  I fully expected some sort of recognition for it.  But no.  I got jack shit.  Not a silently mouthed “thank you,” not a a nod conveying “yes I see what you did there,” nor even a smile indicating I caused her a little happiness.  She just kept walking through the door without missing a beat as if it was obvious that the door fairy would always be there for her.


Then just today I held the door open for a mother and her two small children entering Starbucks.  I could have simply walked in and earned a place ahead of them in line but I again saw an opportunity to be nice.  After all, I wasn’t in any particular rush nor desperate to get my caffeine fix.  So my kindness and desire to perk up someone’s life outweighed my own happiness.  I also, admittedly, had a flashback to the recent Panera experience and thought this could make up for it.  Maybe I had an opportunity here to reaffirm my belief that not everyone in this world is a horrible person.  Surely a mother of two would want to set a good example for her children.  I held the door.  They walked in.  A “thanks” was just around the corner… I could feel it… my excitement was palpable… the payoff was near.

Nothing.  Bitch walked right in with her kids and didn’t say a word. At this point I had had enough and said in a loud sarcastic voice, “You’re welcome.” That got a response. The woman turned around with a disgusted look on her face and uttered a dismissive, “pbbth!”  As if that wasn’t bad enough her two kids were staring up at me now with expressions undoubtedly conveying something like, “you’re a bad man.”  No you ungrateful little shits.  Actually, your mom sucks at manners and you’re going to grow up into spoiled brats who will make your boyfriends and husbands want to kill themselves.

These are only two recent examples but I’ve experienced similar incidents with increasing frequency.  After today’s episode my frustration and annoyance reached the tipping point.  So now I’m following a new rule in life: If you aren’t my family, friends, girlfriend, or business associates you can go to hell and get your own fucking door.

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