What happens when a girl is tired of the overused jargon in the start-up industry?
A start-up is a chilled-out workplace, where you could just sit on a beanbag with your laptop and work on your assignment. Unlike commercial offices, start-ups have adopted a unique lingo, one they are very proud of. But for some people who have been working in start-ups for a long time, these overused phrases start to lose their value.
Sneha Kesav is one of them. This Mumbai girl has worked in start-ups in India as well as in New York, and has found many similarities in the lingo used in start-ups of these two cosmopolitan countries. Her new blog The Low Hanging Fruits pokes fun at these overused phrases with some creative typography and illustrations. Sneha who currently works for a tech start-up in New York talks about the idea behind her blog, “Being a self-aware bunch, we are constantly poking fun at the phrases we often use like 'ship it’ or ironically use phrase like 'design is my passion' while sharing really bad design examples with each other. As the list of cringe-worthy jargon kept getting longer, I saw it as constant fodder for a new side project, similar to my previous 100 days project.”
So, what exactly is The Low Hanging Fruit? “This project is a reflection on how our vocabulary morphs in different situations and pokes fun at it. It takes the form of your self-aware-bestie-meets-your-borderline sarcastic-sibling and if people can share a few laughs at how pretentious all this ends up sounding, I will say mission accomplished!" the 30-year-old blogger explains.
Sneha started the project earlier in June and has portrayed some phrases in a fun light, like ‘Let’s circle back — and go off on a tangent’ she writes, or our favourite phrase ‘Think outside the box — but don’t go too far’ is her twist to it.
Talking about the similarity in the start-up culture in different countries, Sneha says, “I feel a lot of the language surrounding start-ups are similar and overlapping in both places. I personally am fatigued by ‘disrupt’ or ‘disruptive’ and ‘innovative’. So overused, they have become table stakes for start-ups at this point.” “There's another one — table stakes!” she laughs.
Her previous project, Taming of the F—kery, was a hit among her followers. Here she tried to find alternatives for the word ‘f—k’ and completed a hundred day project. Talking about her previous project, Sneha says, “I think people found the sheer number and versatility of fucks given (or withheld) funny. It was interesting to see the many conjugations of the word f—k we so often use.”
But it’s easier for people to relate with a swear word, as most of us use it on a daily basis than some start-up lingo which very few people are aware of. Despite that Sneha has been receiving a positive response. “Whether people work in a start-up or not, I have seen people chuckle at the designs and suggest ideas for new posts, which goes to show they relate to it,” says the visual strategist.
Sneha herself works at the start-up but her colleagues and friend also inspire her to come up with some overused phrases. Though this is not a timed project like the last one, Sneha thinks she can easily touch a century, given the number of phrases she has heard.