As the web becomes an increasingly crowded place, users are desperate for solutions to sort through the online clutter. The Internet has become a giant hairball of choice-inhibiting noise and the need to make sense of it all has never been more acute.
At any given time our growth team is focused in on the highest impact area we can work on given limited resources. We determine that by going through our growth process using growth models to guide us. That means we might focus on virality for a period, then first seven day retention, then activation rate. At some point our team will be big enough to have full time people on each one of those areas. But even at that point there is one thing we always keep in mind...Growth Is Never Done.
Warren Buffet gives the advice "If it isn’t the most important thing, avoid it at all costs.” Peter Thiel use to famously walk around the Paypal offices and refuse to talk to you unless it was about your currently assigned number one initiative. It’s no secret that I’m a big believer that focus wins professionally and personally. But when it comes to growth, I think focus is vital. Which is why the fourth principle that guides our growth philosophy is:
Growth Principle Four: Focus Wins
If there could only be one principle among our growth team, I think it would be this:
Be The Best At Getting Better
That one principle runs through everything that we do as a growth team day in and day out.
Any great growth team starts with great principles to guide them. These are the principles that guide our process, hiring, and decision making for the growth team at HubSpot. With each principle I have (or will be) writing a detailed post about why the principle is important for growth and how we apply tactically for the team.
Is growth an art or science? Some praise the creativeness of new growth hacks. Others praise the quantitative maneuvering of analytical growth geniuses.
That question has been debated. But are we asking the right question?
This advice takes the form of a simple classification framework for the features that you are considering for a product, whether it’s a single “large scale” launch, or a series of product features that are planned out on a roadmap.
The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It's to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself.
The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they're something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all began this way.
This post is all about the only thing that matters for a new startup.
But first, some theory:
If you look at a broad cross-section of startups — say, 30 or 40 or more; enough to screen out the pure flukes and look for patterns — two obvious facts will jump out at you.
Warning: This is a long one, so you may want to grab a hot drink :)