Should I hire a growth hacker/growth engineer?

ADVICE

“A startup that prematurely targets a growth goal often ends up making a nebulous product that some users sort of like and papering over this with ‘growth hacking’.  That sort of works—at least, it will fool investors for awhile until they start digging into retention numbers—but eventually the music stops.”

— Sam Altman in BEFORE GROWTH

 

“There’s an initial period of slow or no growth while the startup tries to figure out what it’s doing. As the startup figures out how to make something lots of people want and how to reach those people, there’s a period of rapid growth.”

–Paul Graham in STARTUP = GROWTH

 

“Leaky buckets don’t need more water, they need their holes fixed. It’s a rookie mistake to focus on customer acquisition instead of customer retention, especially early in a startup’s life.”

— David Jaxon in Product strategy — retention trumps acquisition

 

Continue reading “Should I hire a growth hacker/growth engineer?”

Should I hire a growth hacker/growth engineer?

How should I think about running a company?

Companies sound serious.  When you start thinking of yourself as a company, you start acting like one. Worst of all, you won’t work on slightly crazy ideas. When you have a company, the clock is ticking and people expect results. It’s far better to be thought of—and to think of yourself—as a project than a company for as long as possible.

Sam Altman in Projects and Companies
How should I think about running a company?

What are some strategies to avoid the pitfalls of companies that ultimately fail?

Work on real work.  Stay focused on building a product your users love and hitting your growth targets.  Try to have a board and peers who will make you hold yourself accountable.  Make the mistake of focusing too much on what matters most, not too little, and relentlessly protect your time from everything else.

Sam Altman in The Post-YC Slump
What are some strategies to avoid the pitfalls of companies that ultimately fail?

What are some pitfalls of companies that ultimately fail?

The main problem is that companies stop doing what they were doing during YC—instead of relentlessly focusing on building a great product and growing, they focus on everything else.  In general, startups get distracted by fake work.  Two particularly bad cases are raising money and getting personal press. But the list of fake work is long.

Sam Altman in The Post-YC Slump
What are some pitfalls of companies that ultimately fail?