Hacking Growth - How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success


How much do I want to read more? 7/10

This shows how much power marketing has over the future of company: it can mean death or growth.
And how much ingeniousness it takes to go out of the road, make a bold step, and come with totally new strategies, instead of going with the "traditional path".
All it takes is to "think" creatively. Just focus with all there is in your mind, and come with a creative solution on the moment.


Introduction

I had developed a reputation in Silicon Valley as someone who could figure out how to help companies take off, particularly those facing fierce competition and limited budgets such as Dropbox was.

“How would you feel if you could no longer use Dropbox?”
“Very disappointed,” “Somewhat disappointed,” “Not disappointed,” or “N/A no longer using the product”
disappointment was a much better gauge of product loyalty than satisfaction.
Dropbox’s score was off the charts. This indicated that there was enormous potential for growth here, and the next challenge was to figure out how to tap into it.

Field of Dreams fallacy: the belief that all that’s needed is to build a standout product and “they [the customers] will come.”
PayPal program had offered to deposit $10 into the user’s PayPal account. there was no way Dropbox could afford to “buy” users to achieve the level of growth they were looking for.
What if we could offer people something else they clearly valued highly—more storage space—in exchange for referrals?
Once the referral program went live, we immediately saw invites flooding out. The plan was working.
by early 2010, Dropbox users were sending more than 2.8 million invites per month to their friends.
the company had grown from just 100,000 users at the time of launch to more than 4,000,000.
All this in just 14 months, and all achieved with no traditional marketing spend, no banner ads, no paid promotions, no purchasing of email lists.

Facebook: The old way would have been to identify the 10 most spoken languages and hire local teams to do the translation, country by country.
Instead the growth team engineers, led by Javier Olivan, built a translation engine that allowed Facebook’s own users to translate the site into any language via a crowdsourcing model.
“Growth was not about hiring 10 people per country and putting them in the 20 most important countries and expecting it to grow. Growth was about engineer[ing] systems of scale and enabling our users to grow the product for us.”

Airbnb:
the team had to reverse engineer how Craigslist managed new listings.
“Long story short, this kind of integration is not trivial. There’s many little details to notice, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the initial integration took some very smart people a lot of time to perfect.”
millions clicked over to Airbnb, and (without a dime spent on advertising) room bookings skyrocketed.

WHO CAN BECOME A GROWTH HACKER?

It wasn’t the immaculate conception of a world-changing product nor any single insight, lucky break, or stroke of genius that rocketed these companies to success. In reality, their success was driven by the methodical, rapid-fire generation and testing of new ideas for product development and marketing, and the use of data on user behavior to find the winning ideas that drove growth.

Lean Startup adopted the practice of rapid development and frequent testing, and added the practice of getting a minimum viable product out on the market and into the hands of actual users as soon as possible, to get real user feedback and establish a viable business.

A DEFINITIVE GUIDE