Growth Hackers Conference Notes

Growth vs Growth Hacking

Keith Rabois

Value => Growth => Growth Hacking


  1. First grow based on real value
  2. Growth hacking is an observational science
  3. Feature design is the new marketing

Hacks on hacks

  • LinkedIn submitting personal profiles to Google
  • Pay me with Paypal buttons on eBay
  • YouTube embeddable player
  • Facebook will proactively send you a new password when you fail to login a few times
  • Yammer would get users to sign up and then call their IT department with “Your data is insecure…” once a few users from a company started using the product

At Square, the brand is more important than any short-term gain.

Organic growth loop at Square was the transaction itself, which was a branded experience. You could actually treat the interaction like an ad impression, and it converted accordingly.

My job is to add zeroes to the dashboard.

Understanding the stages of growth

Sean Ellis

  1. Product / market fit
  2. Transition to growth
  3. Growth

How do you know you’re at PM/fit?

40%+ users must be disappointed without it

Transition activities

  • Implement user analytics
  • Identify must have benefit
  • Map benefit to effective hooks
  • Optimize business model
  • Optimize conversions
  • Hire growth team
  1. Conversion rate = desire - friction
  2. Optimize funnel on delivering must-have benefit

Ask freeform “What is the primary benefit from this product?”, after you see patterns emerge, switch to multiple choice.

Free products create demand over-time for premium features.

How to make your first dollar

Noah Kagan

Put a tweet on it, no one still wants to get their shoes tied.

Hustle today

Coffee challenge: Go to Starbucks and ask for 10% off.

Try it and see what happens. Most people can’t even do it. This is step one for aspiring entrepreneurs.


  1. Do they want it?
  2. Will they pay you?

You can validate any product within 48 hours, you don’t need code, a business degree, or a co-founder. Just get a yes to those two questions and move onto the next step. Quit wasting months of your time to validate radically simple ideas.

Habits from inception to adoption

Josh Elman

  • Purpose: What need do you solve?
  • Inception: How can you make users aware?
  • Adoption: How can you teach users to use it?
  • Habits: How can we keep them using it?

SMS is the most underutilized communication medium.

When using invitation emails hint at the solution and benefit to hint at how potential users should use the platform.

Building the growth machine

Elliot Shmukler

  1. Set growth goal
  2. Understand drivers
  3. Optimize


  • must be measurable
  • be measurable quickly (Facebook’s 10 friends in 13 days)
  • align goal with product / business
  • make it a single number

Understand drivers

Draw a diagram of all the possible flows of getting to the purpose

  • work backwards from the goal
  • understand the steps to get there


  1. Reduce friction, make it simpler
  2. Increase incentive, give me a better reason
  3. Increase exposure, more often, more prominently, or in more places

Micro-questions, reduce friction by breaking out forms. You need all the data, but not all at once. Chip away at the problem.

Email: unglamorous, difficult, effective

Mike Greenfield

Fix your email funnel and optimize in the order of magnitude of holes in your funnel. For example, only 20% of our emails got to Yahoo Mail users, by switching service providers we were able to get that number to 100%.

  1. Inbox delivery, make sure everyone is getting your email
  2. One item focus, have one main hero piece of content
  3. Quality, highly curated content > user generated
  4. Subject optimization, test many lines and send the best one
  5. Winners and losers, quit sending loser emails
  6. Personalization, use relevant segmenting
  7. Frequency, send more than you think