How to Speak Startup

David and I have been living in San Francisco for a little over a year now. During this time, we have become fluent in a new language called Startup Slang. We are immersed in the Californian startup scene and frequently forget that no one else speaks this language. For this reason, I have compiled a little urban-glossary to aid our friends and family in their efforts to decode our new hipster verbiage.


Next-Level: Awesomely taking something to an even higher level than it previously was. For something to be next-level it has to be at a level that exceeds any such leveling attempted before it. A job so well done that it has never been THAT well done in all the history of doing.

Use it in a sentence:

 I am taking my scrambled eggs to the next-level, I am adding avocado AND kale (see kale).

Game-Changing/Game-Changer: An idea, action or person that is so freaking crazy that it/they no longer play(s) or pertain(s) to the “game” the rest of us are playing. Did you know you were playing a game? No? God, you are SO far behind.

Use it in a sentence: 

Steve Jobs was such a game-changer. Now he’s not because he’s dead.

Flow: The act of doing something that you can do for hours without looking at the clock and wondering when lunch is. Doing something that speaks to your soul and feels right.

Use it in a sentence:

I totally found my flow yesterday in yoga. I think I should quit my job and become a guru.

Kale: A plant that has magical powers. It can turn anybody into a douchy vegan.

Using it in a sentence:

Kale is to vegans as cowbell is to Will Ferrell. (See video)

Connecting: The act of conversing with someone in a way that is much deeper, more important, and more life-changing that simply talking.

Using it in a sentence:

We connected yesterday over the fact that we both only eat grass-fed butter. We have really taken our friendship to the next-level (see next-level).

Paleo: The “caveman” diet. A diet where you can only eat grass-fed things, sweet potatoes, and nuts.

Use it in a sentence:

I am Paleo.

Uber: A fancy car service that makes you feel like you have more money than you actually do.

Use it in a sentence:

I’ll get us an Uber. Woah.

 Metta: A concept so profound that it is out of the realm of basic understanding.

Use it in a sentence:

I can’t. I’m not that deep.

(Insert your company name here) X: A sector of your company that is way cooler and more high-tech than the part you work for.

Use it in a sentence:

Oh look! Here comes the ____ X team! Good thing they didn’t peak in high school.

Hacker: Someone who is way better at computers than you.

Use it in a sentence:

Step aside, I’m a hacker! (applies to any situation)

PescaVegan: A person who has elected not to eat any animal products except for the ones that can breathe underwater. Because that’s just crazy.

Use it in a sentence:

I love all living creatures except for fish. Fuck fish, I am a pescavegan.

Clutch: The hipster word for cool.

Use it in a sentence:

My new Warby’s are so clutch.

Thanks for reading, you guys are the clutchest, next-level, game-changers EVER.

One thought on “How to Speak Startup

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s