Startup Words Wednesday: Funniest Terminology

Startup Words Wednesday.

Ramen Profitable

“A company that is profitable enough to cover expenses of all the employees’ basic living requirements.” –Founder InstituteThis basically means a company with almost no overhead was able to earn just enough money to cover expenses and feed the founders, albeit with cheap ramen noodles. In my earlier startup days I was “Soylent Profitable.”


“A term referring to the physical world, instead of cyberspace. The flesh and blood existence.” -StartupDefinition.comIf Shakespeare was a startup founder today, Macbeth would have proclaimed “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor meat puppet that struts and frets his hour upon the meatspace, and then is heard no more.”

Sitcom Startup Idea

“Imagine one of the characters on a TV show was starting a startup. The writers would have to invent something for it to do. But coming up with good startup ideas is hard. It’s not something you can do for the asking. So (unless they got amazingly lucky) the writers would come up with an idea that sounded plausible, but was actually bad.” –Paul GrahamPaul Graham goes into amazing detail on this one. He expands further; “Why do so many founders build things no one wants? Because they begin by trying to think of startup ideas. That m.o. is doubly dangerous: it doesn’t merely yield few good ideas; it yields bad ideas that sound plausible enough to fool you into working on them.”He gives us the example of a social network for pet owners. A more inspired startup idea that is actually a literal sitcom startup idea is Silicon Valley’s Pied Piper, a compression algorithm company. What’s more, the creator of the show, Mike Judge, has a degree in physics and worked as a programmer for a startup in the 80’s. His sitcom startup idea was no sitcom startup idea.


“…there are hundreds and thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs who think they have a winning idea but never manage to put it into action and go on to growing a successful business.” -Entrepreneur.comThese are people without passion that are enthralled with the idea of not having a boss, but forget they need to be their own.

Aggressive Mediocrity

“A conscious effort to ensure that the bare minimum, and nothing more, is achieved.” Office LifeUsed in a sentence: The former Soviet Union’s lack of incentives for its labor force instilled aggressive mediocrity in them.

Know of any other ridiculous startup terms? Share in the comments!

Edward Zeiden

Edward Zeiden

Domain enthusiast and entrepreneur, Edward Zeiden, has been in the tech industry for several years. After co-founding the startup, NameLayer (subsequently acquired by Techstars) he pursued a career in