Hello and Happy New Year 🎈
I hope you have been able to work on your 2018 goals and are already crushing them :)
This week we have a good mix of articles about growing startups from people you may have heard about - Casey Winters, Guillaume Cabane, Hiten Shah and Andrew Chen.
- Maxime Salomon, Founder/CEO at Croissant
"I receive a lot of questions about growth teams. Naturally, there is a lot of confusion. Is this marketing being re-branded? Who does this team report to? What is the goal of it? What do they actually work on? When do I start a growth team for my business? The purpose of growth is to scale the usage of a product that has product-market fit. You do this by building a playbook on how to scale the usage of a product. A playbook can also be called a growth model or a loop.
What changed is an acknowledgment of what actually drives startup growth. There are three main levers. Phase I is simultaneously the most important and the least understood. In Phase I, you change the product to increase its growth rate. The other two phases are what we traditionally think of as marketing."
- Casey Winters, Growth Advisor in Residence at Greylock Partners
Reading time: 14 minutes
"Here’s a breakdown of the four whiteboard lessons from G you need to watch to get ready for 2018:
1 - How to Engage Your High-Value Website Visitors
2 - How to Take a Holistic View of Inbound Automation
3 - How to Use Email Retargeting to Win Back Visitors Who Don’t Engage
4 - How to Deliver a Better Experience to Your Visitors (And Increase Conversions in the Process)"
- Guillaume Cabane, VP Growth at Drift
Viewing time: 31 minutes
"How exactly has Atlassian created a growth engine around acquisitions and integrations to build their behemoth global business? Let’s dive deeper into how the company:
1 - Developed a loyal market by building a best-in-class project management tool for engineering teams
2 - Strategically expanded their product offerings through acquisitions to broaden their customer base to teams around the dev teams
3 - Doubled down on freemium distribution and horizontal use-cases in their recent acquisitions to make the top of their funnel even wider across teams"
- Hiten Shah, Co-Founder at ProductHabits
Reading time: 17 minutes
"One of the concepts that struck me was the depth of engagement. It shows you how engaged different portions of your user base are. You don’t need a ton of fancy data science techniques to get a glimpse into what your user base is doing. All you need a fairly straightforward SQL query to get you started. It starts with a fairly simple concept: how many users are active for 1 day in the past month? How many are active for 2 days in the month?"
- Dan Wolchonok, Product & Analytics at Hubspot
Reading time: 3 minutes
"When a potential customer wants a demo of Livestorm's webinar capabilities, naturally, Livestorm hosts a webinar. The real magic starts once the attendee signs up for a demo. The Livestorm team built a multi-step Zap—our term for a bridge between two or more apps—to take the registrants' information and turn them into leads. That's a simple enough process.
Livestorm gets more in depth by adding data-enriching program Clearbit into the Zap. Clearbit looks up customer and company information by email address. It'll find social media pages for the company, industry, attendee's department, and more—if you need it, there's a good chance Clearbit will find it."
- Joey Blanco, Customer Storyteller at Zapier
Reading time: 2 minutes
"When I joined Netflix as VP of Product in 2005, I wanted to do more. My goal was to help a young company establish a world-class product and brand. As a product leader, my job was to delight customers in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways. Based on experience, I viewed building a brand as one of the most important of these “hard-to-copy” tactics.
By the time I joined Netflix, I had a somewhat nuanced view of how marketing and product should work together: marketing defines the brand and product brings the brand to life by building a great product. Together, the two teams hope to create a world-class brand and product."
- Gibson Biddle, Former VP Product at Netflix
Reading time: 24 minutes
"1 - Titles are 80% of the work, but you write it as the very last thing. It has to be a compelling opinion or important learning.
2 - There’s always room for high-quality thoughts/opinions. Venn diagram of people w/ knowledge and those we can communicate is tiny
3 - Writing is the most scalable professional networking activity – stay home, don’t go to events/conferences, and just put ideas down
4 - Think of your writing on the same timescale as your career. Write on a multi-decade timeframe. This means, don’t just pub on Quora/Medium
5 - Focus on writing freq over anything else. Schedule it. Don’t worry about building an immediate audience. Focus on the intrinsic.
6 - To develop the habit, put a calendar reminder each Sunday for 2 hours. Forced myself to stare at a blank text box and put something down
7 - Most of my writing comes from talking/reading deciding I strongly agree or disagree. These opinions become titles. Titles become essays.
8 - People are often obsessed with needing to write original ideas. Forget it. You’re a journalist with a day job in the tech industry
9 - An email subscriber is worth 100x twitter or LinkedIn followers or whatever other stuff is out there. An email = a real channel
10 - I started writing while working at a VC. They asked, “Why give away ideas? That’s your edge.” Ironic that VCs blog/tweet all day now ;)
11 - Publishing ideas, learnings, opinions, for years & years is a great way to give. And you’ll figure out how to capture value later"
- Andrew Chen, Growth at Uber
Reading time: 8 minutes