This post originally appeared on TechCrunch
In this series titled “Defining a growth hacker”, I will be exploring the meaning and practical application of growth hacking through a number of interviews with prominent growth hackers. This is the first post the series and will outline the common characteristics of a growth hacker.
Growth hackers are making their mark in technology. Job postings are popping up all over the web looking for a growth hacker. Companies at all stages are itching to find these professors of growth and often recruiting as aggressively as UX and CS candidates. Sean Ellis was right when he first coined the title growth hacker in 2010 when he wrote, “Where are all of the growth hackers?” The demand for growth hackers became widespread when Andrew Chen wrote “How to be a growth hacker” that went viral.
Despite the buzz and increasing commercialization, most companies are unaware of the true meaning of growth hacking other than the simplistic acknowledgement that “they grow stuff” or “get users”. Unlike most professions in technology, a growth hacker isn’t a set of skills or a stock of knowledge. Dan Martell, founder of Clarity, says, “Growth hacking is a mindset more than a toolset.” It is a set of disciplines learned through doing and out of necessity. Growth hackers have a common attitude, internal investigation process, and mentality unique among technologists and marketers. This mindset of data, creativity, and curiosity allows a growth hacker to accomplish the feet of growing a user base into the millions.