Casual and Unprofessional: Not the same

I’m peeved by a trend I’ve started to see among Indian startups: trying to be casual and ending up being unprofessional.

Being casual may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you are targeting. But being unprofessional is never a good thing.

<Edit: I’ve taken off the rant about a particular website that I had here.>

The worrying thing is that this kind of unprofessional-ism is all too common among Indian startups. (Even my own company’s corporate website is an offender. At least we are not trying to use it as the forefront of our offerings. But that’s not an excuse.) We need to buckle up and get our act straightened out.

Now, I’m no spelling/grammar Nazi. Heck, my grammar sucks and I look up spellings on Google at least five times a day. But that’s no excuse for putting up a public website that is sprinkled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Your website is an indicator of how professionally you handle everything else.

Here are some concrete suggestions (based on my observations):

I’ll keep updating this list. You can make suggestions in the comments.

It doesn’t take a lot to avoid these mistakes. Please do.

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6 Responses to “Casual and Unprofessional: Not the same”

  1. Varun M says:

    Good post.
    You can also add this to the list. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe

  2. sri says:

    Er.. where do you find those mistakes you mention (spelling mistakes, errors in the usage of it’s and its, etc.) in the website? I read it several times over.. Am I missing something?

  3. sids says:

    @sri

    It seems I wasn’t quick enough in taking the screenshot. There were a lot of those mistakes when they announced the venture on Hacker News. Almost every commenter there pointed them out and that seems to have forced the website maintainers to actually fix the mistakes!

    Nevertheless, these mistakes are dime a dozen across a good lot of the websites of Indian startups. I would rather not point them out.

  4. sids says:

    Thanks Varun, that’s a nice website.

  5. sri says:

    It seems I wasn’t quick enough in taking the screenshot. There were a lot of those mistakes when they announced the venture on Hacker News. Almost every commenter there pointed them out and that seems to have forced the website maintainers to actually fix the mistakes!

    Hmm.. all I can say is that be careful not to get into mob dynamics and pass hasty judgements..

    Guess you are aware that this particular post is vulnerable against a defamation lawsuit. Prima facie, you’re defaming a particular website and accusing them of sloppiness, when there is no such sloppiness in the very evidence that you provide!

    Citing some mob earlier who’d descended on them earlier does not absolve you of the defamation content present in this post..

    Just a word of caution..

  6. sids says:

    @sri,

    Thank you for the advice. It was really not my intention to pick on this website in particular.

    But since the screenshot I presented here does corroborate what I say in the rest of the post, I’m going to take it off. Thank you again.