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Commentary Power Words

When creating or curating content it's always important to

give your reader context to what is going on. You may have
heard this before but it's the who, the what, the where, the
when, and the how that make up almost all good stories and
pieces of content.

We put together a list of power words that can be used to

describe what is going on in any story or situation. What
makes this list different is how well these words can set the
stage for the rest of your commentary; you can see a live
example for each Power Word below.

You will want to save this list for later so make sure to print
this page for your swipe files so you can pull it out at a
moments notice when writing your commentary.

1. Admits 23. Educates 45. Proposes

2. Analyzes 24. Encourages 46. Provides
3. Announces 25. Evaluates 47. Recaps
4. Argues 26. Expands 48. Recommends
5. Asks 27. Explains 49. Reflects
6. Believes 28. Explores 50. Reveals
7. Calls 29. Features 51. Review
8. Calls Out 30. Finds out/that/it 52. Says
9. Categorizes 31. Focuses 53. Shares
10. Compares 32. Gives 54. Sheds Light
11. Concludes 33. Gives You 55. Showcases
12. Contemplates 34. Guides 56. Summarizes
13. Covers 35. Highlights 57. Talks or Talks
14. Declares 36. Lays Out about
15. Defines 37. Looks to 58. Tells
16. Describes 38. Mentions 59. Thinks
17. Describes in detail 39. Notes 60. Uses
18. Detail 40. Notes That 61. Visualizes
19. Details 41. Opens Up 62. Warns
20. Discovers 42. Outlines 63. Who Shares
21. Discusses 43. People/Companies
22. Dissects 44. Praises


Lets say you want to write commentary about this document you have in your hands
right now. Heres how you might do that with a few power word examples:


Curation Suite gives you 63 power words to start your commentary off right.

Simple, right? Heres an example with with a longer source and a longer explanation:


The team behind the top curation platform Curation Suite reveal power words
that will have you writing commentary before you know it.

Its that simple. 612-460-0177 Page 2 of 12

Rob Spiro of Good Eggs admits that growing too quickly was his biggest mistake and announces
company layoffs and shutting down operations in multiple cities in Good Eggs 2.0 - A Plan for Our

Scott Maxwell of OpenView Venture Partners analyzes public market dynamics and finds
key similarities between public stock prices and private valuations in What Apple, Amazon &
Google Can Teach Startup Founders about Valuation


Chris McCann of Greylock Partners analyzes and shares the universe of drone startups and
expands on his key observations in Drone Market Ecosystem Map

John Fazzolari of Revivn announces the new location of the Revivn headquarters and their
consolidation of a warehouse and corporate office in Revivn Moves to Brooklyn

Cankut Durgun of Aslanoba Capital argues why investors having to face losses with media
darlings will help normalize private market valuations in Company Fundamentals and What the
Media Portrays

Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures asks people to find their purpose and shares his
own personal purpose for the work he does in Whats Your Purpose?

Adam Quinton of Lucas Point Ventures believes investors should treat founders with
commensurate respect and details his due diligence philosophy in Investors: A Philosophy for
Early-Stage Startup Due Diligence

Patrick Mathieson of Toba Capital believes traditional VC look more and more like full-stack
professional firms, VCs will see decreased returns on early-stage deals, and more in How Will
the Venture Capital Model or Approach Likely Change in the Next Twenty Years?

Dan Putt of Reboot believes optimizing workplaces for happiness is to ignore all the other parts
of being human, and thus feels fake and insincere in Wholeness, Not Happiness

Jason Heltzer of Origin Ventures believes that the use of convertible notes has drifted away
from the original purpose and highlights why this could be a bad thing in A Note on Notes:
Hidden Costs of Convertible Notes 612-460-0177 Page 3 of 12

Jason Fried of Basecamp calls valuations a distraction to the real business numbers in How
Much Are We Worth? I Dont Know and I Dont Care.


Ben Erez of Life360 calls out the filthy amount of money in tech recruiting, overused
buzzwords, things he finds interesting, and much more in 30 Observations About Tech and
Silicon Valley

Chris McCann of Greylock Partners categorizes the Internet of Things market to visualize how
the different players fit together in Internet of Things (IoT) Market Ecosystem Map

Sophia Dominguez of AllThingsVR compares newer social Virtual Reality companies
(AltspaceVR, JanusVR and VRChat) and how they are shaping this early market in "The Fight
for the Metaverse, Part II"

Francesco Paolini of TransferWise concludes that calculating the valuation of a company all
depends on assumptions and offers a common valuation framework in Valuation of a Start-up:
How Deep Do We Choose to See Into the Future?

Ezra Galston of Chicago Ventures contemplates the recent carnage of consumer startups
shutting down and explores a few possible theories in Is It the End of the World As We Know

Eric Jorgenson of Evergreen covers how company size and industry structure determine a
companys scale strategy in "Scale as Competitive Advantage: When Scale is Your Ultimate
Weapon, and How to Use It"

Matthew Bradley of Forward Partners covers the economics of surge pricing and how startups
can incorporate dynamic pricing models into their business to help solve some growing pains in
Surge Pricing for the Win

Mark Goldstein of Bad Ass Advisors declares that the value a startup receives from an Advisor
is a critical factor in determining compensation in "How Many Stock Options Should I Give an
Advisor?" 612-460-0177 Page 4 of 12

Erik Rannala of Mucker Capital declares, VCs are hardly on the demise and provides four
reasons why in Venture Capital Is Dead. Long Live Venture Capital.

Angel Tran-Kingyens of Version One Ventures defines indirect and direct network effects and
how network effects are different from virality in Network Effects in Marketplace, Communities,
and Social Platforms

Adam Besvinick of Deep Fork Capital describes what he calls a creative network, how it
compares to a social network, and names a few startups hes watching in Creative Networks,
Social Networks, and Which One is Next?

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures describes the characteristics, management skills, and
ideal values of a masterful Board leader in Board Leadership

Jimi Wen of Trigger describes how the designer, developer and product person nearly always
debate about their product around Maslows pyramid in The Software Jigsaw Into Maslows

Mark Leslie of Veritas Software describes in detail the trajectory of an early startup to large
company and key decisions to ensure long-term success in The Arc of Company Life and
How to Prolong It

Danny Minutillo and Gabe Marcial of Tradecraft detail how Ryan Graves landed at Uber and
what founders can learn from his story in Ubers Secret Weapon

William Mougayar of Startup Management details the role of marketing at three phases of
startup growth and the elements of a brand strategy in Why a Strong Brand Means Higher
Growth and Better Valuation for you Startup

Zac Townsend of Standard Treasury details why Silicon Valley Bank acquired Standard
Treasury in Standard Treasury Joins Silicon Valley Bank

Zaw Thet of Signia Venture Partners discovers that a lack of capital and strict focus helped
drive Brightrolls success in Meet the Operators: Q&A with Tod Sacerdoti, CEO/ Founder of
Brightroll (acq. by Yahoo!) (audio) 612-460-0177 Page 5 of 12

Sam DeBrule of Mattermark discusses alternative methods for building a personal network in
"5 Tactics to Build a Strong Network in Tech: Finding an Alternative to Startup Events"

Connie Chan of Andreessen Horowitz dissects WeChats app-within-an-app model and its
impact on the future of messaging apps and mobile commerce in When One App Rules Them
All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China

Nat Disston of EquityZen educates startup employees on the complexities of equity
compensation they should have figured out before leaving a startup in So Youre Leaving Your
Startup Job

Ina Herlihy of Zumper encourages people to take the time to blog, reach out to people whose
ideas resonate, and to be open to opportunities in How Medium Changed My Life

Joseph Walla of HelloSign encourages founders to think of their customers as investors in

Worried Theres a Bubble? Grow Revenue.

Ben Kosinski of Kosinski Ventures encourages founders to focus on what they want to build -
where they see the company going - vs. building to win over an investor in Build for Your
Vision, Not for Investors

Sam Lessin of The Information evaluates the impact and complications of a company that
pivots vs. starting over in The Hidden Costs of Pivoting

Karen Roter Davis of Urban Engines expands on five points that she believes will influence
consumption models in the auto industry and others in "Five Factors Influencing the Car-as-a-
Service Evolution"

A.J. Watson of Fundify expands on survey results that indicate more time spent on due
diligence means less losses and more wins in One Factor That Improves Angel Investment
Returns by 7x

Semil Shah of Haystack Fund expands on five changes he thinks founders and current
investors can expect in the on-demand sector in Aftershocks from the On-Demand Fault Lines

Julie Zhuo of Facebook expands on why the best of Silicon Valley is summed up with of
course and its worst is I expect... in The Best and Worst of Silicon Valley 612-460-0177 Page 6 of 12

Aaron Harris of Y Combinator explains why looking at the decisions a competitor makes from
the presumption of intelligence can benefit your company in Presumption of Stupidity

Guy Turner of Hyde Park Venture Partners explains what HPVP looks for in seed investments
and what seed stage founders might look for in VCs in Anatomy of a VC Seed Program (and

Angel Investor Joe Beninato explains how startups can adjust certain aspects of incentive stock
compensation to be more favorable to employees and the company in Startup Stock Option

Hunter Walk of Homebrew explains why he thinks there is more cooperation than competition
among the 200 micro VCs with funds under $100M in Seed Stage VCs Compete With One
Another But Not How You Imagine

Jitha Thathachari of Rouse Digital explores why it can take too long to build an MVP and
outlines 8 examples to learn from in Your Minimum Viable Product can be more minimum than
you think

Angel Investor Joanne Wilson features Lizzy Kleins path to entrepreneurship and how she
launched her startup, SuperDuper in Lizzy Klein, Super Duper, Woman Entrepreneur

Jessica Lin of Work-Bench finds out how Alex Polvi of CoreOS built his team, what it takes to
win, and what being an armored car driver has to do with any of it in Nextgenterprise - The
Winning Ingredients

Karen Roter Davis of Urban Engines finds that a great product will understand why the fortune
resonated and create a larger vision for the customer in Is Your Product a Fortune Cookie?

Tim Devane of NextView Ventures finds it disturbing that many new startup employees do not
understand how equity options work, so he educates them in Explain Equity

Blake Irving of GoDaddy focuses on Applied AI and how it is more attainable and relevant to
todays software than Strong AI in Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work

Marcelo Calbucci of EveryMove gives an overview of three types of advisors hes encountered
as a founder and their specific characteristics in The Three Types of Startup Advisors Youll
Find: The Dad-type, the Mom-type, and the Grandpa-type 612-460-0177 Page 7 of 12

Jon Gillon of Roost gives you behind the scenes access as he expands Roost beyond San
Francisco in How to Scale a Marketplace Startup (or not)

Brad Van Vugt of SendWithUs guides potential startup employees through writing an ideal job
application and what he looks for from candidates in Applying to Startup Jobs

Adam Pisoni of Yammer highlights insights from General Stanley McChrystal and Chris
Fussells book Team of Teams about how McChrystal led hundreds of thousands of people in
What Startups Can Learn from general McChrystal about Combining Strategy and Execution

Elizabeth Kraus of MergeLane lays out the ideal startup pitch deck format she believes
founders should use in A Slide by Slide Guide to a Killer Investor Pitch

Sam Altman of Y Combinator looks to dismiss any signaling issues by now maintaining pro rata
for every YC company in every round with a post-money valuation of $250 million or less in Pro

Brad Feld of Foundry Group mentions an inevitable downturn in the current economic cycle,
yet the beginning of a dramatic shift in how our species deals with existence in The Beginning
of the End or the End of the Beginning

Scott Maxwell of OpenView Venture Partners notes that later-stage VCs can outsource some of
the early-stage investment risk to angels and micro-VCs, which may lead early cos to be less
disciplined in How the Proliferation of Angels & Micro-VCs Impacts the Tech Ecosystem

Bruce Booth of Atlas Venture notes, the last five quarters are amongst the largest record-
setting quarters in ten years and describes four things the current market is not in The Venture
Funding Boom in Biotech: A Few Things Its Not

Sophia Dominquez of AllThingsVR notes that VR headsets and experiences have a perception
problem and breaks down how they can improve their marketing in How to Market Virtual
Reality 612-460-0177 Page 8 of 12

Andrei Soroker of Kato opens up about the decline of Kato (a team collaboration tool), product
hurdles, and the impact of Slack in Kato Sunset Conference (video)

Charlie ODonnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures outlines a pointed list of ways founders can
successfully fail at building a startup in 10 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Chance of Startup

Nicholas Chirls of Notation Capital outlines his lessons learned and key differences between
building a portfolio of investments and building a long-term VC firm in Building a Firm v.
Investing Money

Imran Parvez of BitChemy Ventures outlines the status quo of multiple design tactics, reviews a
well-known design process, and the role of paper clips in Journey of Design in Tech

Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures outlines how to be less anxious as an investor, in
response to Fred Wilsons post for founders in Anxious Investors (the Investor Side)

Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital praises products that feature native advertising, as he believes this
form of monetization is a sign of love and respect for the product and users in Native
Advertising and User Respect

Max Wessel of Sapphire VC proposes people start articulating bold and counterintuitive
positions about the future vs. a constant fear of being wrong in The Possibility for Outrageous

Om Malik of True Ventures provides his take on Googles announcementand believes its new
structure may reveal substantial and interesting bets without regulatory scrutiny in The Big

Geoff McQueen of AffinityLive provides three analogies to explain why raising more venture
capital may not be good for the company or the entrepreneur in Bigger Isnt Always Better: How
A Big Round Can Hurt Your Startup

Mahesh Vellanki of Redpoint Ventures recaps the history of global GDP growth and finds that
after 1500 A.D., business began to grow the pie for everyone in What Does It Mean for
Startups to Create Value? 612-460-0177 Page 9 of 12

Chris Savage of Wistia recaps his story of taking a chance on closing a major client, even if that
meant revealing a scrappy team and product in How We Nearly Missed the Flight that Changed
Our Business

Josh Elman of Greylock Partners recommends founders interview new bounceback users
every six months to learn about improving adoption and activation in Four Questions Towards
Understanding User Adoption of Your Product

Brad Feld of FoundryGroup recommends founders practice filtering out opportunities that dont
feel good/right and to focus on building their business in Unicorns Without the Magic

Leo Widrich of Buffer reflects on Buffers flat company structure experiment and the differences
of actualized hierarchy vs. traditional hierarchy in What We Got Wrong About Self-
Management: Embracing Natural Hierarchy at Work

Bo Bergstrom of Uvize reflects on how inspiration, purpose, and the value of mentorship led him
to organize this years Patriot Boot Camp and found Uvize in Business Bootcamp, Quick &

Rob Leathern of Optimal reflects on the trouble he went through in securing an add-on round
from his seed investors and the two lessons he learned in When an Investment Disappears

Alex Turnbull of Groove reveals the tools his remote team uses every day in 19 Tools Our
Remote Team Uses to Stay Connected, Productive and Sane

Michael Cardamone of Acceleprise reveals the eight enterprise technology companies in

Acceleprise San Franciscos newest cohort in Announcing Cohort 3 in San Francisco

Attorney Patrick Wyrick reviews a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that makes it less likely for State
regulators to throw up hurdles to your disruptive technology in The Supreme Court Decision That
Every Startup Should Know About

Paul Graham of Y Combinator says startups without a .com name signals weakness and is a
mistake that should be fixed in Change Your Name

Ron Pragides of Bigcommerce shares his personal observations of building a successful and
consistent acquisition strategy in The Strategy of Mergers & Acquisitions 612-460-0177 Page 10 of 12

Eric Jorgenson of Evergreen shares a collection of insights, strategies, and resources about the
challenges of scaling a company in How to Manage Scale, and Operate in Scaling

Jim Scheinman of Maven Ventures shares three of his tips to battling customer churn and
achieving product/market fit in Reason #4 Why Your Consumer Startup Will Succeed:
Product/Market Fit

Ron Renaud of RaNA Therapeutics sheds light on the the grind that is involved in raising
private capital and the challenges he faced in The Other Side of the Fence

Li Jiang of GSV Asset Management showcases various 'high impact' business models and the
successful companies that utilize them in Different Strokes

David Teten of ff Venture Capital summarizes the steps to make a financial model easier for
people to read, understand, and invest in your business in 18 Ways to Make Your Financial
Model Stand Out to Investors


Elizabeth Tobey of Tumblr talks about her experiences as a woman in a leadership role and
looks to break down the notion that people are infallible in How Do I Woman Properly?

Gregory Mazurek of Gilt tells the history of the whiteboard and his thoughts on the impact of
whiteboards on the interview process in Stop Whiteboarding

Joe Coleman of Contently thinks the ability to fall in love with your company again and again is
the real trait that keeps founders going through thick and thin in Startup Status: Its

Patrick Woods of Archer Malmo thinks Paul Grahams post misleads founders away from
relevant names that support their brand story and explains why in Change Your Name, But
Dont Sweat the .com

Mahesh Vellanki of Redpoint Ventures thinks the concept of the milkman may be coming back,
as he dissects the innovations and potential value of some emerging grocery services in Are
We Seeing a Return of the Milkman? 612-460-0177 Page 11 of 12

Alida Miranda-Wolff of Hyde Park Angels uses examples to demonstrate the formulas/math
needed to calculate everything from price per share to percent ownership in How to Measure

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz visualizes the total funding picture of US tech
companies since 1980 and makes three key observations in 35 Years of US Tech Funding

Justin Hall of Golden Gate Ventures warns founders that bad money will sink your startup and
describes predatory angels in When the First Cheque Can Kill You

Geoff McQueen of AffinityLive warns SaaS founders about the fundraising Death Zone for
SaaS startups between $50K - $200K in MRR in The SaaS Fundraising Death Zone

First Round Review features Tido Carriero of Dropbox who shares the power of a hybrid product
development process and how to navigate it well in How Dropbox Sources, Scales and Ships
Its Best Product Ideas 612-460-0177 Page 12 of 12