Can You Actually ‘Hack’ Growth?

Published 19.06.2017

I saw a fascinating comment on LinkedIn earlier… ‘FYI – Growth can’t be hacked’. It was posted by someone I deeply respect. I pondered it. After all – as well as Non-Exec, Investor and Brand Strategist… I’m a… well, dare I say it now… Growth Hacker!

So, is it possible to ‘hack’ growth? Well. Yes. But I can’t do it. You (if you are an looking for growth – be you a brand or agency) can!

What on earth does that mean?

Growth hacking is not taking short cuts. As someone else I deeply respect said ‘it’s about focus and fearlessness and making mistakes quickly under guidance and reacting quickly by being better next iteration.’

To do that though, as a client it’s you that has to choose to work in a new way. Growth Hackers use their experience, strategy, creativity and proven techniques to get to solutions fast – taking out layers of process. But it’s you the client that has to be ready to work that way. Not the hacker.

In that way, an agency can growth hack. An independent consultant an growth hack. It’s the buyer that either works to a full traditional process – or gets in market, iterates fast and looks for quicker ways to get to growth. It takes courage to growth hack and be growth hacked.

It’s the same tools and the same wisdom – just a different way of working. And the primary difference is the buyers psychology.

But. Buyer beware.

I know of only 15 or maybe 20 growth hackers in the UK worth working with. I am sure there are a few more. But not many. Ask those that claim to be growth hackers ‘what have you grown?’, ‘what businesses have your started and sold?’ and ‘who do you work with?’ – most so called growth hackers can’t answer those questions with any quality. Those that can are worth talking to.

An important final thought. Growth hackers should not be cheap.

Good is never cheap. And cheap is never good.