So what is growth hacking? It's a strategy.
Famous Growth Hacking Stories
This is THE
go-to growth hacking tale. A story about
true hustlers who didn’t mind getting their hands dirty.
What started out as a B&B on air-mattresses grew into a legacy, even the Hilton Hotels chain is jealous of.
So what did they do to get this damn big?
But the “hack”, that they’re most famous for is reverse engineering Craigslist.
AirBnB found a way to hack the giant platform to make use of Craigslist’s customers. They managed to build a bot that would redirect people viewing apartment listings on Craigslist to AirBnB.
Result: intense traction = staggering growth.
Was this ethical? Probably not… Extremely smart? Absolutely! Check their full story here.
Another example is the success story of
With over 30000+ educational videos and 7 million students worldwide, Udemy is one of the world’s LARGEST online educational platforms.
The success didn’t come immediately though… They actually struggled big-time during their growth stage!
Finding teachers to upload their training videos turned out to be super hard on the young company, let alone attracting students to watch non-existent videos.
So what did they do to eventually implode into the colossus they are now?!
Easy… They scraped THOUSANDS of educational videos from YouTube and hosted them on Udemy.
Visitors got drawn in, teachers got motivated to upload their videos, and BOOM!
No magic, just shrewd smartness - that’s what Growth Hacking is all about. Wanna learn the details? Listen to this interview with Udemy’s founder, Gagan Biyani.
WHAT DO THESE HAVE IN COMMON?
They used OPNs, ‘Other People’s Networks’, to grow. Udemy used
YouTube and Airbnb used Craigslist
The ratio of their success represented 80% best practices and 20% subversiveness. As Alistair Croll puts it “Most big successes have a little bit of evil in them”
They were carried out by people with skills, which most digital marketers didn't have: web scraping, coding and rapid experimentation.
In 3 years it will be the norm for marketers to have these powers.
The Growth Hacking Mindset
Familiar with this guy? No?
At Growth Tribe, we LOVE him!
This, ladies and gents, is
Takeru Kobayashi, the most exceptional
competitive eater of all times. He
holds multiple world records in hot-dog eating, is 53 kg light and extremely smart.
Kobayashi hacked the art of eating hot dogs (yes there’s a hack for everything). And even though he was up against guys like you see down left, he beat them all.
“How in the world?!”
Kobayashi separates the dogs from their buns and eats them separately. A technique widely copied by the competitive eating industry (there’s an industry for everything too).
1) he separates the sausages from the buns, and
2) he pre-digests the buns by dunking them into
water Dunking the buns into water allows him
not having to chew the buns, but instead
just swallowing them all in one go.
If you really must, here’s a video of Takeru gulping down wet buns and sausages.
If you’re growing a company today you better learn to eat hot dogs fast…
So what is growth hacking? It's a skillset.
A Growth Hacker’s Profile
The skillset of a growth hacker is powerful. We call them T-shaped players:
20% of knowledge of all major skills get them 80% of output
Growth hackers are usually specialized in 2 / 3 skills (e.g. CRO & Programming) & have vast knowledge across all fields related to technical marketing
Rare people possess these qualities. They’re unique and in high demand. A 1 to 7 supply/demand ratio to be exact.