Growth hacking tip from the experts: Anyone can do it

Last night my friend Chris Morton tweeted a link to 13 critical lessons from over 50 growth hackers. I like this one:

9. Growth is not rocket science

Growth can seem mysterious and hidden, a tool to be wielded by only the Silicon Valley elite. In reality, growth is within the grasp of mortals. Growth is a mixture of good people, the good data they use, the good decisions they make, and the good advice they receive. Growth is part common sense, part creativity, part hustle, and sometimes, part luck. Growth is improbable, but always possible.

In other words, it’s science rather than art and we can all do it. That said, there’s no point unless you have a good product (no. 12 on the list). Now go read the other eleven points and get to it :).

  • Richard Kelly

    I love number 12 HOWEVER…

    I’ve heard investors say that they won’t invest in the idea (even though the Startup has turned out brilliantly) because they can’t invest in the entrepreneur. And that’s always gotten to me because the reason why they haven’t invested is because the entrepreneur didn’t have the qualification to back them up.

    Sometimes before you begin to grow, even if you DO have a great product, it seems that you, yourself aren’t fit for your own creation (well through some investor’s eyes). It’s as if your being criticized more than your idea.

    You could be the next Zuckerberg or the next Jobs and none of what you’ve done will matter because that one person you need on your side (the investor) judges your educational background.

    Most investors DO judge the book by its cover and that’s because the rest of the World does exactly that. They judge you before they have a chance to get know you. Your qualification is your ID tag. No one has time to turn the page and read about your years of experience.

    Sometimes: No qualification = No investment = No growth = No business.

    What if you can’t have a qualification in what you have built, though? Does that mean you’ve invented something way before its time? And you need to wait for the world to catch up and make a degree course out of your invention before its acceptable and safe to invest?

    If that were so, we’d all be riding horses to work.
    That one odd investor who turns the page is the reason why we live in the World of today.

    Your Startups innovation and growth = Someone turning YOUR page.

    You may follow all 13 Critically Important Lessons (which are highly useful by the way) but none of it matters unless you have that one investor who is willing to turn your page before judging your cover.

    “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

  • VCs have to make judgements on entrepreneurs. I think most do so by looking at the output of their work – quality of product, how you are in person, what other people say about you, whether the idea is well presented, past achievements. Educational achievement is in the mix somewhere, but not usually at the top. If you are struggling to get through to investors I would look again at these factors.

  • Richard Kelly

    I think all investors make a judgement on the entrepreneur. After all you don’t want to be in business with someone who doesn’t know their industry or even worse – is abusive. As a rule of thumb I think education should always be considered. It’s proof that you can build your ambition.

    I was up last night reading over my above comment and came to the conclusion of – If investors won’t turn your page then what’s wrong with your cover?

    Then it came to me – the cover is blank. There’s a title (your qualification) but no picture/vision. You can’t paint a picture with a degree. The picture is meant to be the idea, but if you can’t turn your words into a picture then you have no cover. Therefore have no vision.

    So I went on Youtube and looked up the Dragons Den pitch which I had in mind when writing my previous comment and realized that their idea was good (hence why their Startup became successful later on) but their pitch didn’t include any of his cover work – there was no vision. They skipped straight to the first page – blabbering on about their experience in the industry and how the idea came about etc. The investors didn’t have a chance to see what the entrepreneur’s vision was. Just what the idea was with no future aspiration.

    This may sound absolutely silly, if not hypocritical – but I’m glad investors judge the entrepreneur the way they do. Before, I thought it was unnecessary but now I realize there’s a reason behind it – they judge because the rest of the industry judges too. It’s simply testing the ‘crowd effect’. How does everyone else view this person? How do they react? It seems harsh but it’s because these investors are putting money on YOU. It is YOUR idea. Therefore it is a part of YOU.

    I may have come to realization just recently, but knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have given that entrepreneur a penny.

    So, new conclusion: If your cover isn’t good enough. There’s 13 lessons that can make it extraordinary (with enhancement on lesson number 12, of course).

    Thank you Nic.