The buzz on “growth hacking” has spread all across the world. Classes on growth hacking are being taught in Singapore. Companies from San Francisco to London are recruiting growth hackers. The first Growth Hacking Conference popped up a few weeks ago. This rapid craze beseeches an explanation. Why has growth hacking so strongly resonated with the startup community?
One explanation is that “growth hacking” is just a catchy way to rebrand marketers, but this begs the question as to why “growth hacking” went viral in the first place. The real answer is that the phrase “growth hacking” caught fire because of its particular emphasis on growth, which determines the life and death of every startup.
Startups are facing growth challenges that were not apparent a few years ago. The platitude “build it and they will come”—made popular by the movie Field of Dreams—has since died and is now an antique of the dot-com era. Growth hacking has resonated in the startup community due to today’s growth challenges: new channel creation, channel saturation, the “best product” fallacy and “product-growth” fit.