What Not To Do In Your Startup Promo Video

Thanks to my job, I get to see a lot of stupid bullshit. Most gets filtered out, but every now and then something just rises up that is so ridiculously stupid, it’s just begging to be called out. That’s the case with this promotional video from the kind folks at Rippln, which is more or less a two-minute case study for how not to pitch your soon-to-be ultra-viral app to the general public, or to the press, or to potential employees or investors.

So here’s a step-by-step for what not to do in your startup video:

  • Don’t tell us that your app is going to be viral before it’s even friggin’ released. [0:11]
  • Don’t expect the press to cover your stupid app before it’s even friggin’ been released. Except for maybe in posts parodying it. [0:15]
  • Don’t assume your friends and family members will be talking about it. Likewise, don’t assume strangers will be coming up to you on the friggin’ street to talk about it. [0:20]
  • Don’t say your stupid app is going to change the way we communicate, or call it “The biggest breakthrough since email.” [0:26]
  • Don’t promise that your app will change how commerce, either online or offline, is happening. Definitely not both. [0:30]
  • Don’t promise (again) that your stupid app is going to go viral. Don’t compare its growth to Facebook, or Twitter. [0:36]
  • Don’t pretend to know how people were talking to Mark Zuckerberg in the cafeteria at Harvard. Or, uh, how he would respond. [0:50]
  • Please don’t bring Adam D’Angelo into this. Also, if you must, don’t say he looks 13 years old. [1:02]
  • Don’t try to impress me with Adam D’Angelo’s net worth. Wait, why are we talking about Adam D’Angelo again? [1:18]
  • Don’t make your stupid app sound like some sort of exclusive club with an “inner circle” and talk about how lucky we were to be invited and shit. [1:27]
  • VELVET ROPE? NO. [1:33]
  • Don’t say that there’s just a brief window for me to join! But please, god, if there is, let’s hope this abominable window closes soon because this startup sucks. [1:45]
  • Don’t pretend you have trade secrets. Trade secrets? [1:48]
  • Don’t refer to an “NDA” when you really mean, “Personal information-collecting form for use in our B.S. marketing.” Also, uh, who signs an NDA on YouTube? [1:58]
  • Or, just don’t partake in general douchebaggery — which pretty much describes this entire video.

Oh yeah, if you’re not yet digusted enough by startup marketing, there’s also this: