This article was published on March 10, 2016

Shitistics: Startup slang that should exist but doesn’t (yet)

Shitistics: Startup slang that should exist but doesn’t (yet)
Ben Woods
Story by

Ben Woods

Europe Editor

Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

There’s plenty of corporate and startup speak that exists but shouldn’t, so TNW’s founder Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten got together with Pep Rosenfeld from Boom Chicago in the Netherlands for a live show to come up with a few (potentially vomit-inducing) new bits of tech slang that don’t exist yet, but perhaps should.

Frankly, I’m surprised ‘Bozza’ was even invited up on stage. I mean, aside of his snappy suits, he’s not that funny. I’m not entirely convinced he likes the name Bozza, for the record.

You’re welcome – and just be thankful you weren’t there on the night, it ended in a duet.


Credit: Adrian Herz

The idea you get after too much red bull and no sleep – just look at some (almost any) startup’s names. This one is real, folks.


Credit: Adrian Herz

Named after the mind-numbing, repetitive music of Kraftwerk, Krapwerk is ‘the work you do that you know is useless but you want to look busy.’ Also known as ‘management.’

Post to the Ghost

Credit: Adrian Herz

You see a tweet, you think of the perfect witty response but the original has now gone. That’s a Post to a Ghost.

Conversation Beta

Credit: Adrian Herz

We have all been here, so we may as well have a term for it. The Conversation Beta is where neither of you has a clue what you’re saying but the thought of leaving silence to just hang there is too much to bear.

“So, yeah, blockchain eh…” etc.

Going Out of Business Card

Credit: Adrian Herz

The business card you give away knowing full well it will be immediately thrown out. Why do you give it out then?

‘Networking,’ of course.

Pocket Spam

Credit: Adrian Herz

You’re the other half of the ‘Going Out of Business Card’. You accept those cards full well you will immediately throw it out.

Tut tut.

Name Bait

Credit: Adrian Herz

You’re usually pretty sharp, but just occassionally, you can’t quite put a name to the face. In these situations, you use the Name Bait to find the correct path forward.

(There’s really no excuse for not knowing the name of that person you’ve met three times already, you can’t ask again.)

Eye Con-do-better-than-you-tact

Credit: Adrian Herz

Eye contact is crucial when making a good first impression – unless there’s someone more interesting to talk to standing just over there. Yeah, there is, bye…


Credit: Adrian Herz

85 percent of the phrases in this article appeal to left-handed people more than right-handed.  That’s Shitistics at work.


Credit: Adrian Herz

The intentional self-delusion that the person you’re talking to is attracted to you when really he or she just wants your funding. It’s always about the money. Always.

Do you have any other tech crapicisms you’d want to see thrown into everyday startup life? Are you still just wondering what that duet sounded like? Has this article affected you in ways you didn’t expect?

Comments in the usual place below.

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