Growth Hacking has become a popular term but one thing is for sure, it’s not something that the real or true winners are doing. Growth Hacking is no different than throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. There is no way to control the results of experimentation or the associated risk to any degree. Experimenting is necessary but it’s not a business model. That’s a fact. Yahoo and Twitter have learned that lesson the hard way. There isn’t a single successful business in existence with “experimentation” as a primary business model. If you call yourself a “growth hacker”, this post is going to make you cringe and rightfully so. Your bullshit is about to be in the open.
Here it goes…
It is stated that growth hacking sits in the middle of marketing, programming, and data analysis. Growth hacking is basically experimenting to find what works for growing a business. Quite honestly, you don’t have to experiment to find what works for your business because this is not 1999 or 2005 and with that being said, growth hacking is a term used by people that are trying to grow a business by doing other than what has been proven to work. Growth Hackers mislead people into thinking that they can get by with spending less money than is absolutely required and with less effort than is necessary or required.
Think about this: if you treat your business like an experiment, then who or what is actually driving your business? Nobody controls the results of an experiment. Now, I’m not saying that experimenting or trying different things to grow your business is wrong. I’m saying that if your business is a startup or is not making significant profits, then experimentation is not something that you can afford right now. Startups and businesses that are not in profit are better off doing what the winners do and that is to do what has been proven to work for growing a business before trying any experimentation.
Growth Hacking is one of the biggest distractions for new entrepreneurs and startups. That shit keeps you from doing what you need to be doing. What should anybody be doing? That answer is simple. Do what has been proven to work. Pay for results. That is how every major company became what it is. No major business has ever succeeded with growth hacking as their primary marketing model. I challenge you to prove me wrong. Successful businesses and entrepreneurs spend money to make money. You pay for what you get. Put your money where your mouth and persona is. No company has ever risen to power by spending as little as possible or with minimal effort. If you can’t afford to win, you can only afford to lose. If you cannot run with the big dogs, why would they consider crawling with you? Growth hacking is for broke entrepreneurs and lazy business owners or lethargic marketers. You can never win at somebody else’s game playing by your own rules or no rules at all. Growth Hacking doesn’t have any standards or order. To call it, “Growth Gambling” would be more accurate. Building a business is a calculation, not a gamble. So, if you call yourself a growth hacker, I challenge you to a marketing duel on any day, at any time.
Diez Mansour-Dehghan, CEO