Another startup culture bash was making the rounds, this time about a common term in the startup world - "getting shit done", and what a terrible mentality it is to have. Disclaimer - I know the author personally, as him and I were at the same 500startups batch this summer, and I also consider him a good friend. But I think he's completely off on this one.
Last week, my co-founder, Adam, and I, traveled to Japan. The official reason was being invited to the b-dash camp conference in Osaka by our Japanese investor, Tak Miyata of Scrum Ventures, and we piggy-backed on the opportunity to visit a country we both wanted to go to for a long time.
My history with Japan
I've been a fan of Japanese culture and entertainment for quite some time now. Japanese society has a lot of rules and preconceived notions, but once they break through that, they have no limit on their imagination.
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Everybody and their grandma is now a "Growth Hacker", a term originally coined to describe marketers who use unconventional approaches and measure their effectiveness with analytics instead of gut feelings. In fact, apparently everyone who uses multiple marketing channels is now a "growth hacker".
As someone who is on the other side of the table, looking to hire someone to drive growth to his business, I have a newsflash for you - nobody cares about the exact classification and semantics of your title.
What Growth Hacking Means To Startups
Startups are designed for growth. Not every company needs to grow fast - most businesses don't. Startups use technology to achieve scale rapidly - that is the most common definition of what a startup is.
As such, traditional marketing - while very important and required, is typically not enough. That means that in order for a startup to achieve its goals, a different distribution approach is often required. Enter, Growth Hacking.
As such, growth hacking is not
Most people are used to their smartphone lasting less than a full day. They plug it in at night and disconnect it in the morning. It might seem like a technical limitation of current batteries, but as it turns out, software plays a huge part.
I use a Samsung Galaxy S2 T989 (T-mobile version). It's almost 2 years old, but can last over 4 days on one charge. Here's how I did it:
AngelList recently launched a new feature called syndicates. In simple terms, it allows investors to get behind other investors and invest together as a group (termed a syndicate). The investor who facilitated the deal takes a carry of 15% (interest over a positive return - such as an exit or IPO) - not unlike VCs. In fact, this structure effectively turns angels into fund managers.
Many investors already chimed in, such as Jason Calacanis (The great venture capital rotation), as a syndicate "leader", and Hunter Walk (Angel vs. Angel), Fred Wilson (Leading vs. Following) and Mark Suster (Is it a big deal?) as VCs. But what does it mean for startup founders?