TNW Conference attendees share the buzzwords they hate to use


Working in any aspect of the tech  means you probably come across a buzzwords all the time. ‘Crypto,’ ‘millenials,’ ‘unicorn,’ and other such words are part of regular industry lingo – words we sometime grow to embrace, but often just make us cringe.

It’s no surprise that buzzwords get thrown around at TNW’s annual conference in Amsterdam as well, so we set out to ask a few attendees from varying parts of the tech world two questions:

  1. What buzzword(s) are you most guilty of using?
  2. Which one(s) do you hate the most?

Here are a few snippets of the responses:

Jurjen van Rees, CCO of Electric Ant Lab

Most guilty of using: artificial intelligence

Most hated: artificial intelligence

Quote: “It’s completely misunderstood…. I’ve seen business plans where young guys who just got straight out of college can build an AI bot. But everybody can with some basic understanding of coding.”

Van Rees’ point, I gathered, was that you shouldn’t be flaunting your company’s AI prowess if it’s not much more a simple bot.

Maxim Amosov, CEO Organic Village

Most guilty of using: sustainability

Most hated: …sustainability

[I’m seeing a trend here]

Quotes: “You got me there. I learned something about myself today”

“You know what the similarity is between sustainability and terrorism? Nobody knows what it is, where it is, and how to f***ing deal with that.”

Nora Wolf, UX Designer at Conneqtech

Most guilty of using: disruptive
Most hated: ‘powered by AI’ and agile

Quote:Everything is agile”
Another attendee nearby: “You’re saying all the words that I was thinking. They’re going to say disruptive, sustainable, AI.”

Yunqing Bao, UX designer at

Most guilty of using: crypto, blockchain
Most hated: none

Quote: “I love terms, I don’t hate them. I think you need to be open-minded with your language to accept new technologies”

David Yormesor and Jan Gerrit Wnendt of European Investment Bank

Most guilty of using: intermediaries, support, SMBs, innovation.

Most hated: intermediaries, support, SMBs, mobilize, innovation

Wnendt: “For me mobilize means you mobilize a vehicle or… an army. But here we are talking about mobilizing in finance constantly.

Yormesor: “Guilty of using innovation as well, but it’s often used as an empty buzzword.”

Once again, there’s a trend of hating some of the buzzwords your job forces you to use the most. Unfortunately, I’m guilty of using all of the above.


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