A few months ago I went to a ‘fireside chat’ event with Sean Ellis.
He’s an entrepreneur, angel investor, and startup advisor.
He is the founder and CEO of Qualaroo.
He was the first marketing hire at Dropbox.
He is also known for popularizing the term product/market fit, and coining the term growth hacking with Hiten Shah and Patrick Vlaskovits in 2010.
It was a good no-fluff event.
Thought I would share my notes around growing and scaling a business.
It’s naturally more tech-focussed, but the bulk is very useful for any business:
- Nothing he did was ‘magic’, simply the result of constant testing
- Believes in picking a SAAS where there is an ongoing need, and it doesn’t diminish after 3-6 months. Ideally it gets more valuable over time
- SAAS needs to be a must have, not a nice to have
- There are so many distractions. Focus intently on the problem and being the absolute best fix for that
- Become obsessed with your customer. How they perceived the problem, the solution, the benefits
- He crowd-sourced the messaging for Dropbox, worded it as his ideal customer would
- Build around your most passionate users. Ask them how they’d feel if they couldn’t use it, that’s how you find the ones who consider your service a must have.
- The responses from the power users are generally more valuable than everyone else.
- Don’t high five each other over front end metrics. Filling out a form is a great start but doesn’t mean shit if they don’t install the software or actively use it.
- Remove friction to me enjoying your stuff
- Your goal is max users with good experience
- Designing every point of your service to promote more people experiencing it (ie. incorporating sharing through every checkpoint in Dropbox)
- Get more qualitative data, ask ‘why people don’t go to next step?’
- Good question to ask buyers – ‘What almost prevented you from doing X?’
- So many people are focussed on growth when they haven’t achieved P2M fit
- Channels are perishable, your goal is to replace dying ones with new ones at a faster rates
- Ultimately all you have at the end of the day is experiments
- Data driven people can cripple themselves by wanting absolute certainty. It’s okay to stop tests early in some cases based on instinct.
A little different to my normal posts, but I shared it with my networks and they suggested I share it on the blog – so here it is.
Hope you enjoyed it!