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.
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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
After failing miserably to raise 18 months ago, digging deep and bootstrapping our way to profitability, we made another attempt earlier this year and got a huge break by getting into 500startups.
We are now in the middle of raising our seed round and are doing a much better job at it than previously. I wanted to share some of what we've learned that helped made the current attempt a successful one.
Today Robert Scoble came to visit our batch at the 500startups offices. He did some 1-on-1 sessions and later gave a free-form talk, mostly about Google Glass (not surprisingly), but also about reaching out to tech media. Here are a few bullet points from the talk -
- Know what every tech blogger likes to write about and approach them with stuff they care about. Robert is infatuated with Google Glass right now, so even if you have the shittiest Google Glass app (his own words) he would be interested, but if you have the most amazing WinXP app he will probably not.
- Get tons of traction and people will write about you (a given). Get everyone in your batch to say you're the "hot" company of the lot.
- Get intros from insiders and trusted people in the blogger's network. If Dave McClure gives a personal guarantee about your startup, Robert will likely write about it.
- Build something in a hot market. Everybody loves mobile and mobile is the future. Nobody cares about desktop. So build mobile - you'll get more love from bloggers.
This looks an awful lot like advice for fund raising. Robert has put himself and other prominent bloggers / tech blogs on the same level as investors as far as getting their attention is concerned. Is this a reasonable positioning for tech media?
The first week of the 500startups accelerator program is in the books, and I definitely feel accelerated. Keeping with the current Star Trek theme at the 500s offices, I'd say we're about Warp 7 right now after previously being at sublight speed for an extended duration. Lets go over what we managed in 1 week: