Thursday, April 4, 2013

What or Who is a Growth Hacker?

By the time I find out about most things, it is past the early adopter phase. In an effort to stem the tide of feeling not innovative I learned about growth hacker and downloaded Clinkle Wednesday. First of all, the first Growth Hacker Conference is in May. Yep, the phrase already has a conference. I learned about the term in Seth Godin's very good article about meetings, and an 11 month old blog post from Andrew Chen with comments from a number of prominent people in the start up company industry. The term was "invented" by Sean Ellis in a blog article nearly three years ago!

Trying to describe the term "growth hacker" in words that make more sense to me, it seems that the ideal concept of a growth hacker is: directly engineering functionality.

Functionality might not be the best word, usability or profitability might be better. I suppose it would be product/company dependent. In more than three words, Apple would probably do nearly as well, perhaps better, with only two commercials a year featuring Jony Ive talking about the latest Apple product. Valve probably has people that notice trends in their environments, and focus on that area, or focus on the area people just left. Google figured this out a decade ago when they simplified search to something that was very quick and uncluttered. The other companies could not match the speed, results, and simplicity of Google. More than a decade later Google still rules the world of search because they directly engineered functionality. Facebook might be losing this with the redesign and one-stop-shop complexity progression every few months. The opposite would be the concept of an employee being told to work on something, and working on it. That is not wrong at all! It is simply the perspective that is different. Looking for the problem to solve versus solving the problem that is given. Hopefully the two are the same, but I know that is not always the case. Regardless, directly engineering functionality is a great way to increase value and by repeating increase productivity.

Every day we are getting better. Every day we learn.


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