Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/startup-growth-engines-summary/
Case Studies of How Today’s Most Successful Startups Unlock Extraordinary Growth
The best way to learn is to look at the success stories and find the things they have in common.
This is exactly what we do in the text below.
Who Should Read “Startup Growth Engines” and Why?We have all heard about those companies that became world-known names overnight.
“Startup Growth Engines” considers these companies and explores the things they have in common: using growth hacking.
If you want to succeed in the modern marketplace, learn how to use different growth techniques and business models, as well as get better at creating viral marketing campaigns, then this is the book you should pick up from the shelf.
About Sean Ellis & Morgan BrownSean Ellis is an investor and entrepreneur with a rich knowledge and experience in start-ups. He frequently publishes with The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur Magazine.
Morgan Brown is a digital marketing specialist.
"Startup Growth Engines Summary"Most of you who are now reading this summary, have heard about the Silicon Valley and the many successful startups it is home to.
However, you might not know how successful actually these companies are.
If you look at the figures, you will be truly amazed!
In just a short period, Silicon Valley startups attract millions of customers and generate billions of dollars profit.
The growth of these companies cannot be compared to the traditional economy – it is much faster.
In fact, these companies purposely avoid traditional marketing techniques and use what is now known as growth hacking.
Growth hacking focuses on maximizing growth and can be used in any sector.
Do not confuse it with formula, since there is not one single “right” way for successful growth hacking.
What it does it combining multiple factors (statistics, data and a whole ton of creativity) that assure attracting new customers, retaining them, and generating revenue through them.
But where do you begin?
You will not be surprised by the answer - you have heard it many times before: you begin with a problem.
One thing about businesses never changes, at it never will: a business solve a problem the customers are having, thus offering them value.
But, how do you find the problem that is worth building a business around?
You do not have to think too wide, just observe your environment.
Look at your own life, and at the life of your friends. Notice the common problems you run into.
Even mundane issues are a good basis for business, since probably everyone has them, and the best kind of issues for building a business are those that affect a wide range of people.
Another strong point of looking for a problem in your closest surrounding or your own experience is that you will have the chance to be your own first “customer.”
In other words, you will be able to test and evaluate your product or service and see if it meets all of the customer expectations.
Once you are past the stage of finding a problem, you need to develop a slow and steady growth strategy.
Do not make a mistake many people that get passionate about their ideas do and want to start big immediately.
Instead, start slow, from your surroundings, just as you did when you were looking for your idea.
Then, you will steadily stretch to new markets.
Why is this important?
Because when you focus all your effort in satisfying the customers in one specific niche market, you will be able to gain positive momentum by building a good word-of-mouth reputation for your business.
A focused effort is the best way to succeed.
Usually, when companies start, they use a few models that seem to work for them.
First, you can try out the freemium model, which is actually offering a no-cost service, that will turn into revenue.
In other words, you offer your customers a free “taste” of your product and give them an option for an upgraded version for a fee.
Another thing you can do is to offer free content to the public to generate revenue.
Through this approach, you will be able to gather information about your customers and keep their attention for when they are ready to pay for your services.
Of course, these approaches will not work for everyone and come with a risk which we will cover in one of the key lessons below.
Key Lessons from “Startup Growth Engines”1. Start Big and Small at the Same Time 2. The Freemium Model Comes with Risks 3. Offer a Free Tool to Get People’s Attention
Start Big and Small at the Same TimeDo not get too excited by your ideas, and do not let your passion blind you. Starting too big is not a good way to start. Instead, opt for a narrow market niche and a significant market share in it.
That way you will secure generating good word of mouth in your local environment that will lay out the groundwork for your future growth.
The Freemium Model Comes with RisksMany companies use the freemium model, and you can experiment with it, but it is vital that you remember that the whole purpose of giving things for free, is making people want to upgrade and pay for the premium version.
The product that you offer for free should be easy to use and learn in a short time since people will not invest too much time and effort into something they did not pay for.
If you are not sure that customers will be interested in getting more from you, then this model will not work for you.
Offer a Free Tool to Get People’s AttentionAnother thing you can do is to offer a free tool that will answer some of your customer’s problems.
Again, do not forget that although you will get noticed by doing this and you will have the opportunity to gather information about your customers, the purpose of giving away free stuff is to make revenue later on.
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“Startup Growth Engines” Quotes[bctt tweet="If you take the lowest common denominator approach using cross-platform stuff, you by definition create something that’s average." username="get12min"]
[bctt tweet=“Growth is not just a concern of sales and marketing, but of product, engineering and support too. It is this organization-wide commitment to growth that ultimately sets these companies apart.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“Uber has taken what could be seen as a massive business hurdle—litigation—and turned it into an asset that drives growth.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“Growth hacking is not anti-marketing, it is the evolution of marketing, it is pro-growth.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“We’ve learned it’s much better to ship it now and fix it later, once you can see how people are using it, than it is to let it linger in development forever. Just ship it.” username=“get12min”]
Our Critical ReviewThis is a great book for those who already have a product or service that they would like to offer to potential customers.
Those that have not found a problem they can solve just yet maybe should postpone the reading of this book for when they do.