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These Are The Most Misused Words By Tech Startups

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Image Courtesy Austin Chan (Unsplash)

When it comes to tech startups, the hype is part of your product’s success. It’s not just about the product but also about how much PR you get. So much so that a lot of founders spend a good amount of their time jumping from one newsroom to another just to build up the hype.

In their quest to create a buzz, tech founders have adopted a subset of adjectives that they think best describes their startup. However, these adjectives have ended up just being words that founders use to excite investors, rather than actually live up to these descriptions.

Below are some of the most misused adjectives in the tech startup world:


According to Wikipedia, disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.

More often than not, this adjective is used correctly, however, some startups that merely introduce good PR to an already existing business model go shouting at the top of their lungs how disruptive they when in true essence, they just have a marketing budget that local entrepreneurs didn’t.


Revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavour. The best example of revolutionary innovation is M-PESA.

But how many other startups are out there calling their poorly codded buggy apps revolutionary?


This is tricky one but innovation is the coming up of a new idea or the application of a new process to an already existing problem. How many startups do you know that actually came up with a new idea altogether?

All the ones we know that plaster “innovative” all over their marketing as juts glorified vibandas.


The latest craze seems to be the development of AI-powered products, whether it’s customer care bots or something else crazy. In the real sense, most of these AI-powered stuff are just hard-coded bots that give predefined responses to a set of expected questions.

Try getting these bots to do something intelligent and the response you get is, “Let me think about it”, tsk.


We’ve heard this one before. Anything that takes a traditional method of doing things and takes in online is immediately labelled, “uber for”. Best example? Gadgets Africa is Uber for newspapers! Yup, we said it!

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