Startup for Dummies // growth hacking

Working at a startup sounds great. But it can get confusing, too, especially at the beginning. If you feel like at some times you don’t have a clue of what you’re colleagues are talking about; you’re not alone. From now on, don’t just nod friendly when terms like ‘unicorn’ or ‘disruptive technology’ come up. Every week we’ll explain a common startup-expression in our Startup For Dummies. This week: Growth Hacking. 

The term Growth Hacking often seems misunderstood. People tend to think of illegal hackers who break into secured computer systems. Not growth hackers, though! Growth hackers make the impossible possible: they can help you accelerate your business without spending tons of money. How? Let’s explain.

Sean Ellis – founder and CEO of GrowthHackers – coined the term Growth Hacker in 2010. Hackers in general usually have an innovative way of thinking. The goal they want to achieve is more important than the road towards it. For growth hackers their only goal is growth.

To reach this goal a growth hacker is constantly focusing on quickly finding scalable growth through non-traditional en inexpensive tactics. They for instance use social media and build up on tools like MailChimp, AdWords and Google Analytics to help a company increase their customer base. ‘Build, Measure, Learn’ as they say use the Lean Startup Method.

Growth Hacking its origin started in startups that were in need of growth and usually don’t have a big marketing budget to spend. Because of the big difference with traditional marketers, growth hackers are not there to replace them. While a growth hacker takes every single possibility to optimize growth in a creative and smart way traditional marketers can still do their thing.

Big companies like Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, AirBnB and Dropbox all used growth hacking technics to get where they are now. A few examples of great growth hacks that have been cheap, measurable and extremely productive:

1 // Dropbox – Dropbox is giving their costumers the opportunity to invite friends to the platform in order to get extra space free on their accounts.

2 // AirBnB – AirBnb has grown into a bilion-dolllar-business by automatically posting new offers on Craigslist. AirBnB made clever use of Craiglist by tapping into their excising network and ‘steal’ customers.

Training our own Growth Hackers
The B. Startup School – BSSA – is teaching young graduates the skills that they need to work at a startup. One of the five courses is Growth Hacking by The Talent Institute. Interested or know someone who might be? Check it out.

Want to read more startup for dummies?

// pitch deck
// vaporware
// freemium
// disruptive technology
// pivot
// HR Tech