Does Every Startup Need a Growth Hacker?

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This post originally appeared on Mattan Griffel’s blog, The Philosopher’s Guide to Startups.

In my last post I explain what a growth hacker is. Now I will argue that every startup needs a growth hacker.

Most startups find themselves facing the same problem: they build a product that very few people end up using.

Let’s say that your startup, Startuply has an idea for a new photo-sharing app. You assemble a team and start building it. At first it’s awful, it’s simply embarrassing. Your team encounters bugs and it takes much longer than you expected. Finally, six months later, you have a product you’re happy releasing.

In the days leading up to your launch, you get more and more excited. You figure that your app has all the features that the mainstream photo-sharing apps are missing – the ability to edit photos on the fly, more filters, Foursquare-integration, and the ability to easily curate and share other people’s photos. This is going to change everything.

When that day finally comes, you launch and… nothing happens.

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Required Reading: Gina Valo

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Name: Gina Valo (@ginavalo)
Classes Taught: Introduction to AdWords

Gina’s online advertising career began in 2006 when she joined the first group of new-hires to start Google’s office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She spent three years as an AdWords account strategist on Google’s inside sales team, building and optimizing new campaigns. Gina also spent three months in Hyderabad, India training fellow Googlers and expanding the team. Gina later returned to India, this time with Clickable, to launch and manage a team of highly skilled SEM strategists.

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What is: Growth Hacking

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This post originally appeared on Mattan Griffel’s blog, The Philosopher’s Guide to Startups.

I’m going to write a series of posts about Growth Hacking because I think it will be useful. I run a marketing agency for startups, and I identify myself as a growth hacker because during the course of my work I often implement various so-called “growth hacks“. Due to a recent and well-read post by Andrew Chen, the term has become quite popular. But people often ask me where they can read more about growth hacking, and I’ve found there’s no one resource for to send people to if they want to learn more about growth hacking. I hope these posts can serve as that resource.

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Getting to Know You: Devin Hunt

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Devin is designer, developer, and entrepreneur who loves bringing ideas to life.

Current Role: Front-End Web Development Instructor at GA London, Co-Founder at Lyst
Personal Website: http://hailpixel.com
Twitter: @hailpixel

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born and spent the early years of my life in the suburbs of Toronto. At the commencement of high school, my family moved to Atlanta, which provided sufficient culture shock.

2. Where did you study?

I studied – after a few failed attempts at different majors – Computer Science and Industrial Design at Georgia Tech.

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Technically Speaking: Node.js

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These days, web apps that function in real-time aren’t a novelty. They’re the standard. Users have come to expect instantaneous results, and to expect live, social components built into their applications. These expectations are met — with increasing ease and power — thanks to a small phenomenon called Node.js.

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Required Reading: Jacob Cohen

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Name: Jacob Cohen
Classes Taught: Naming Essentials, Innovating with the Business Model Canvas

Jacob’s history with computers began in 1984 with a diploma for “computer excellence” from Ronald Reagan, a document held in low regard by his tech-savvy but liberal Oregon family. Over the course of his career his focus has been on creating and designing engaging experiences for users using innovative technology. He loves technologies that make life more convenient and improve communication. Over the last 12 years he’s developed a talent for building teams of designers and developers driven by a focused strategy and pushing the boundaries of technology.

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Required Reading: Toby Matejovsky

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Name: Toby Matejovsky (@tobym)
Class Taught: Intro to Scala

Toby started programming in high school by teaching himself how to make a website and taking a class in C++ (which he used to write programs to help with his calculus homework). Prior to working at an incredibly talented ad-tech startup, Toby wrote some interesting command-and-control software in C++ with a big defense contractor, and later built and scaled a job search website in Rails with a small startup. He currently uses Scala to create a blazing fast real-time advertising system that handles billions of requests per day.

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Android, iOS, or Windows: Which Mobile Development Platform is Right For Your App?

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Understanding-Mobile-User-ExperienceWhen you set out to build a mobile app, one of the first things you will need to decide is just what kind of app to build. Should you build an app for the iPhone? What about the Android? Should you forego a traditional app, and bet it all on a HTML-based web app?

In this post, I’m going to walk you across the mobile development landscape, and share the lessons I’ve learned to help you decide the right mobile platform for your app.

Build Native, or Go Web-Based?

When you think of a mobile app, you are likely envisioning an app you download via a marketplace like Apple’s iTunes. Apps like these are called ‘native’ apps, because they live on your phone, and run directly atop your smartphone’s operating system.

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Crowdfunding: The Next Generation — Four Changes That Will Shake Up The Model

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Crowdfunding has come a long way in a short period of time. What started out as a social experiment several years ago has been validated as a viable means for thousands of people to tap into their inner-entrepreneur. Recent data suggests that crowdfunding – defined here as a contribution toward a project in exchange for non-economic benefits — has enabled more than $1.5 billion to change hands and tens of thousands of projects to get funded, ranging from “passion projects” to real companies.

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Required Reading: Anne Libby

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Name: Anne Libby
Class Taught: Managing Startup Teams

Described from early childhood as “bossy,” Anne grew up to love managing people and developing managers. She founded Anne Libby Management Consulting LLC, and when she’s not working with clients, or thinking and writing about managing people, Anne can be found balancing her body and mind on a yoga mat. Or, working to persuade GA to let her teach a class on the Leadership Lessons of Battlestar Galactica.

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