Friday, September 14, 2012

Growth Hacking

Fantastic article on the concept of 'Growth Hacking' which is getting some buzz in silicon valley.

Leveraging new marketing platforms has been hugely important for a lot of very successful startups. Zappos leveraged Google AdWords incredibly well back when AdWords was new and relatively cheap. Zynga turned a number of their early games into massive hits using sharing within Facebook before Facebook clamped down on this for spamming news feeds. YouTube did it by allowing people to embed YouTube videos on their websites. DropBox have grown so quickly optimising and incentivising users to share DropBox and invite new users. The example given in the article of AirBnB using Craiglist is brilliant.

Shoes of Prey may need a growth hacker...


  1. Good article and I think his blog post was the first time I heard the term growth hacker. The thing is, I don't think anyone actually calls themselves a growth hacker or has it at their title (I could be wrong).

    To me its someone that's an unconventional marketer or possibly doesn't even considers what they do as "marketing". Most likely a person with a technical background that understands how to leverage distribution channels to achieve viral growth + traction. It could also be a marketing person that has a very good understanding of technology.

    A growth hacker will uses free or low cost marketing as opposed to your traditional customer acquisition specialists that use "earned" or paid media such as SEM, PR, email marketing. However, I think there can be components of email marketing e.g. referral offer which you can pass onto your friends or some clever PR which is free and unique, which requires a growth hacker to think outside the conventional marketing box.

    Its far better and more cost effective for a company like Dropbox to get a customer from a friend than to go out and acquire that customer using paid marketing.

    The XX, a UK band did a cool experiment with their new album "Coexist" by giving it to one fan and let them share it, and you can see how it spread virally very quickly around the world

  2. Another great post from Andrew Chen listing some of the best growth hackers in the Valley:

  3. Cool list. There's also an article from Alan Jones listing some local growth hackers!

  4. Not a new idea, people have been doing these sort of things for many years, especially in the affiliate marketing space. He does a good job of selling it as something more interesting and inventive than modern marketing.

  5. Very very beautiful! Thanks for sharing article. I like your your post about leveraging new marketing platforms has been hugely important for a lot of very successful startups. Keep it up!