Interviewed for a Growth Hacking thesis

...by an Irish entrepreneur from the European Innovation Academy this summer. Here are his questions, and my answers:

 

 

    •    What is growth hacking in your opinion?

Accelerating the usual rate of growth of a product or service.

 

    •    How relevant is growth hacking for start ups?

It’s required for startups to differentiate themselves from lifestyle businesses and other non-scaleable businesses.

 

    •    In your opinion, has there been a paradigm shift away from traditional sales and marketing? If so, is it here to stay? If not, why not?

Marketers would say no, growth hacking is the same as marketing. What might be different is the time scale.

 

    •    What are the characteristics required to be a growth hacker?

Knowing where people are, how they can be reached, and what it’s worth costing to do so.

 

    •    Is an appreciation of marketing and coding needed to growth hack successfully or is a deeper understanding required?

Expert growth hackers would probably say there is a deeper understanding, but I think anyone can be a growth hacker to a basic degree. I like growthhackers.com as a resource for newcomers.

 

    •    What method / methods of growth hacking did you or your organisation employ to gain traction? 

The last startup I worked with was so unfamiliar with growth hacking they refused to consider the San Francisco and Silicon Valley standards I suggested. They are not based in the USA. This would have been a way for them to level the playing field, and I suggest it for startups outside the USA.

 

    •    Should big data be embraced in the customer acquisition process or is privacy becoming more important?

If you can get access to data, by all means, use it. Also, don’t be a creep, and think of the user. There is plenty of data users don’t mind parting with for real value. It does not have to be a privacy issue.

 

    •    Are there a set of steps a startup can take in order to optimise the growth hacking process? Is growth hacking an art or a science or a combination of both?

It’s both an art and a science. As I suggested earlier, try tapping into the community of growth hackers at growthhackers.com