How good is your next startup idea ? Is it brilliant ? Do you get excited just thinking about it? Finding it hard to go to sleep because you’re always planning what’s next ?
Awesome, there’s only one problem. Ideas are worthless without a crowd.
I know you might be saying “Hey man, my idea is so super awesome it doesn’t need a crowd, it will spread itself, it’s “Viral”….”. It may be….but chances are that it’s not. And if you’re going to lay down the next 6 month (at least) working on it, wouldn’t you want to maximize the chances of success ?
As the song goes, if I could offer you only one tip for the future….Growth Hacking would be it. Growth Hacking (written as GH from now on) is the art of taking an idea and giving it a loyal crowd. Keep in mind I said a LOYAL crowd, not just any crowd…
The term Growth Hacker is basically an online marketer on steroids.
He understands who the target audience is and what it needs, from there he defines the best ways to reach that audience and keep him. If your product is a bucket filled with holes, then the traditional online marketer would only pour water into that bucket. The GH would also seal the holes keeping the water inside.
But enough theory let’s get to real live examples of GH so you can understand it better. Before there was Outlook there was Hotmail, one of the very first email email services. It started out as a small company that raised $300K. So how did this company grow to 12M users in 1.5 years ?
Here’s one big reason – at the bottom of each email you got from a Hotmail account was the sentence: “PS I love you. Get your free email at hotmail”.
Dropbox allowing users to gain free storage space by referring their friends is another great example of a successful GH method.
Growth Hacking isn’t just about marketing, it’s also about the product design, coding and the user interface.
If you’re not involved with each and every aspect of the business you won’t be able to create growth. It’s a much more strategic role in the startup than you’d think.
Coders and designers do amazing things but they are usually “contained” within their own realm. You won’t see a designer change his design because something is coded in PHP rather than in Python. But you will see a growth hacker engaged in design discussions, in coding issues and in user interface as well.
So back to your amazing idea…is it clear to you how you’re going to grow this idea from being just in your head into a millions heads ? Do you understand what “hacks” can be used to grow this business ? Virality is the end of the process and not the beginning, it comes after a lot of work has been laid down. If all this sounds intriguing then perhaps this will interest you as well…