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Growth Hacking and the Future

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growthhacking3Each week, DailyTekk connects you with leading experts on a given topic as part of our Understanding series. This week we are focusing on explaining growth hacking. Yesterday the experts talked about what it actually takes to hack growth and today you’ll learn about the future of growth hacking. Last week we focused on Gamification.

Sean Ellis: The growth hacker as a lone wolf is being replaced by growth teams. The growth teams will increasingly play a higher profile role in startups and companies that do a significant proportion of their business online. That is because the upside in startups and established businesses is based on revenue growth, which is primarily a function of customer growth. A growth team lives and dies by this metric and if they have the growth hacker mentality, they understand the most powerful levers for driving growth online. Not only will these teams play a higher profile in companies, entire companies will be more growth oriented.

Josh Elman: I think the best part of the current hype around “growth hacking” is that it helps remind everyone how important it is to grow your product. I still hear too many times “well, if we just build an amazing product, then we’ll attract plenty of users”.  That simply isn’t the case. You need to learn from your data and understand what innately in your product helps your active users attract new users, and then create solutions that help engineer that to happen more quickly and more often.  Knowing how to build and market great products have always been core attributes of successful companies. I think we’re going to see these blend more and more in the future.

Paul Rosania: The name may change, but the strategy isn’t going away. A/B testing tools give growth hackers the confidence to iterate rapidly, learning as they go. Less time is wasted on dead-end ideas, and promising projects get more investment. Companies that use this strategy are more likely to succeed. It’s still critical to build great products, and I think some companies that over-invested in growth hacking are learning that the hard way today. But at its core growth hacking is about learning as quickly as possible through experimentation and measurement, and that strategy is timeless.

Dan Martell: Honestly, it’s not a new thing it’s just a new word.  “Growth Hacking” has been going on for years and just considered product marketing.  The ideas behind it (ex: Leveraging your customer to get more customers) are not knew, but what has happened is more people are talking about it – due in large part to the cool name – so there’s more information about who’s doing what, and how it works. So yes, it’s here to stay.

Aaron Ginn: Growth hacking is here to stay. Most successful startups had a team or individual devoted to growth. The title “growth hacker” is new. When Sean Ellis coined the term in 2010, he was describing an existing phenomena.

Also, the biggest distinguishing factor between a small business and a startup is rapid growth. Growth is what defines a startup. All startups want to grow but few want to put in the effort and trust in the process. The growing trend in distribution strategies is that it is getting harder and harder to grow. As it gets harder, the demand for growth experts will rise.

Ken Zi Wang: As Paul Graham said Startup = Growth. Any decision that’s made it essentially to achieve a fast pace growth for a startup. In that regard you can’t call growth hacking a trend. Growth hacking is a necessity that molds the culture and further of any startup.

Meet The Growth Hacking Experts

  • Sean Ellis (@seanellis) coined the term “Growth Hacker” and is the founder and CEO of Qualaroo, a company focused on making it easy for marketers to improve website visitor engagement without help from the dev team.
  • Josh Elman (@joshelman) is an investor at Greylock Partners. Previously he led user growth at Twitter, and worked at Facebook, Zazzle and LinkedIn.
  • Aaron Ginn (@aginnt) is the Head of Growth at StumbleUpon and former growth hacker for Mitt Romney.
  • Dan Martell (@danmartell) is the co-founder of Clarity a marketplace that connects entrepreneurs to get great business advice. Previously he co-founded Flowtown.com.
  • Paul Rosania (@ptr) is a Product Manager for Growth at Twitter, and was previously a growth hacker at a stealth startup running a Top 100 Facebook app.
  • Ken Zi Wang (@kenziwang) is the founder and growth engineer of Fandrop, an innovative and interactive way for users to find, collect and share trending media.

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