[...] the process can be implemented by even the smallest of teams, which for many start-ups, especially in the early growth phase, should be run by the founder and comprise the entire company.
If this iterative process sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve encountered a similar approach in agile software development or the Lean Startup methodology. What those two approaches have done for new business models and product development, respectively, growth hacking does for customer acquisition, retention, and revenue growth.
As Andy Johns, who is a leading authority on growth hacking and worked on the growth team at Facebook, said of the effort, “Growth was not about hiring 10 people per country and putting them in the 20 most important countries and expecting it to grow. Growth was about engineer[ing] systems of scale and enabling our users to grow the product for us.”
[...] was a striking example of the Field of Dreams fallacy, still too popular in the start-up community; that is, the belief that all that’s needed is to build a standout product and “they [the customers] will come.”
Approaches like these to building, growing, and retaining a customer base that relied not on traditional marketing plans, a pricey launch, and a big ad spend, but rather on harnessing software development to build marketing into products themselves, were proving both extraordinarily powerful and incredibly cost effective. Perhaps more important, companies’ growing ability to collect, store, and analyze vast amounts of user data, and to track it in real time, was now enabling even small start-ups to experiment with new features, new messaging or branding, or other new marketing efforts—at an increasingly low cost, much higher speed, and greater level of precision. The result was the emergence of a rigorous approach to fueling rapid market growth through high-speed, cross-functional experimentation, for which I soon coined the term growth hacking.