A Growth Hacker’s Foundation

I’ve discussed quite a bit about growth and user acquisition over the past week or so. However, today I started thinking about what would need to be in place in order to successfully implement a growth strategy. I can sit here all I want and fantasize about doing XYZ at Vidyard but let’s face it, without a solid understanding of the product, the ability to work with data, and an appropriate culture and framework, we’re going nowhere in a hurry.

Right off the bat I think the most important thing would be to observe, ask questions, and take a lot of notes in order to build an immaculate understanding of the product. If I am to help Vidyard grow into its full potential, I need to become a sponge for the first couple of weeks. I think it’s a wise investment to spend time early on getting to know as much as possible about anything and everything that could possibly matter. This includes, but is not limited to, product, customers, company structure, and all the data you can get your hands on

Next, since a growth hacker is probably going to be dealing with quite a bit of data and modeling, he or she needs the tools and the skills to handle all of it. I’d need to get very comfortable using whatever channel analysis platform Vidyard uses (seems like it’s Hubspot if the Partners page is anything to go by). Furthermore, being able to manipulate data with Excel, for example, and query relational databases can be important as well. Overall, the ability to use and manipulate data to gain insight and answer questions is an important skill for an aspiring growth hacker to have.

Finally, I think there’s a certain cultural mix that a growth hacker should possess. I look at people like Chamath Palihapitiya and the first things that come to mind are aggressive action and intelligent risk taking. That Quora answer gives brilliant insight into how a company should support this kind of growth culture. Although that answer is specific to Facebook, I can see some of it applying to Vidyard as well, given that it is a relatively young company. Combining this cultural mix with the ability to establish, as Chamath mentions, a simple framework, against which everything is measured, can be the key to success. Perhaps in a later post I’ll take a look at frameworks and what Vidyard’s could look like.

A fundamental understanding of the product and everything that surrounds it, the ability to utilize data to investigate and make decisions, and a culture and framework to support growth operations are three things that I think are important components of a solid base upon which a growth hacker or a growth team can drive user acquisition.

Since I plan on attending two growth-related educational events today (click here for details), expect to see a “lessons learned” post come up some time this weekend.

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