After writing my recent article on Growth Hackers, I’ve been asked by quite a few folks on how to learn the discipline. The best answer is, learn from someone who’s already good at it – if you’re technical and creative, it’s well worth the time.
I would encourage everyone to also read Andy Johns’s Quora answers on What is Facebook’s User Growth team responsible for and what have they launched? and
What are some decisions taken by the “Growth team” at Facebook that helped Facebook reach 500 million users?- it lays out a lot of the key activities used in a well-run growth team.
The list below includes some of these folks I know personally, some just by reputation- but collectively they’ve grown products up to millions, 10s of millions, and in some cases, 100M+ users. Typically they use quantitatively-oriented techniques centered on virality across different channels such as iOS, Facebook, email, etc. There’s lots of iteration, A/B testing, and experimentation involved. There’s also really great growth hackers centered around SEO, SEM/ad arb, and other techniques, but for the most part I’m just listing out the folks around quant-based virality. The important thing about virality is, it’s free :) So it’s an important skill for startups.
Missing from this list are many unsung heroes over at Zynga, Dropbox, Branchout, Viddy/Socialcam, lots of ex-Paypal/Slide people, etc., etc. Also, all of these guys typically have co-founders or entire growth teams around them that are experts, even if I don’t know them by name.
If others in the community would like to make suggestions, tweet me at @andrewchen or just reply in the comments.
|Noah Kagan||AppSumo, Mint, Facebook||noahkagan|
|David King||Blip.me, ex-Lil Green Patch||deekay|
|Mike Greenfield||Circle of Moms, ex LinkedIn||mike_greenfield|
|Ivan Kirigin||Dropbox, ex-Facebook||ikirigin|
|Michael Birch||ex-Bebo, BirthdayAlarm||mickbirch|
|Blake Commegere||ex-Causes/Many games||commagere|
|Ivko Maksimovic||ex-Chainn/Compare People||ivko|
|Dave Zohrob||ex-Hot or Not, MegaTasty||dzohrob|
|Josh Elman||Greylock, ex-Twitter||joshelman|
|Jamie Quint||Lookcraft, ex-Swipely||jamiequint|
|Andy Johns||Quora, Twitter, Facebook||ibringtraffic|
|Robert Cezar Matei||Quora, ex-Zynga||rmatei|
|Nabeel Hyatt||Spark, ex-Zynga||nabeel|
|Paul McKellar||SV Angel, ex-Square||pm|
|Akash Garg||Twitter, ex-Hi5||akashgarg|
|Jonathan Katzman||Yahoo, ex-Xoopit||jkatzman|
UPDATE: My friend Dan Martell’s new company, Clarity, provides a way to access experts like this via phone and email. Here’s the directory of folks with expertise on growth.
PS. Get new essays sent to your inbox
Get my weekly newsletter covering what's happening in Silicon Valley, focused on startups, marketing, and mobile.