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I’m Mattan Griffel, growth hacker, Co-founder and CEO of One Month, teacher behind One Month Growth Hacking, and creator of the most popular deck ever created on growth hacking. As a partner at GrowHack, the world's first growth hacking agency for startups, I helped helped launch over a dozen products and advised companies like Pepsi, JPMorgan, and American Express on growth hacking. I've taught at New York University, Cooper Union, SVA, and Singularity University, and have been featured in Forbes, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, Huffington Post, and The Next Web. One Month is an online education startup that empowers people to change their lives by learning real-world technical skills in an accelerated time frame. I'm currently teaching a course called "One Month Growth Hacking" for beginner entrepreneurs, engineers, or product people who don't know where to start getting users. Follow me on twitter at @mattangriffel or One Month at @onemonthedu.

  • SO

    Sorin Olaru

    about 3 years ago #

    In my opinion, growth hacking is a discipline where creativity is extremely valuable. I do feel however that it is currently skewed towards strictly analytical processes which makes for missed opportunities. How would you feel about growth hacking teams being composed of creatives and technical specific members to take advantage of different ways of generating ideas and testing them ?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      This is crucial.

      Like I mentioned already, one person will not be able to come up with all the optimal solutions. The problem with taking a purely analytical approach is that you will tend to identify smaller optimizations rather than take big creative leaps that can be huge steps forward. My favorite example is an Upworthy headline where using the word "Wondtastic"instead of "Wonderful" got them a 50% increase in clicks. Who comes up with that stuff?

      I envision a future in which companies use the Lean Marketing Framework (ie. Dave McClure's AARRR metrics) as a way to structure teams internally. Activation teams or Retention teams will consist of people from across an entire organization including marketers, engineers, operations, product, etc. That way you have a diverse set of people all aligned towards finding solutions for a common goal.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      about 3 years ago #

      Good question @sxrin !

  • ET

    Eva Tang

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey @mattangriffel! First off, thanks for doing this - it's much appreciated by everyone in the GH community.

    What makes the One Month Growth Hacking course different than say, a book like Traction?

    Do you think an experienced growth hacker could benefit from the course? If so, how?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      I like the video format because I have a problem with reading in general. I don't enjoy it. I think video is a much better way of connecting with a teacher and a teacher can use video to actually walk through the steps of how to do something, whereas books typically stay at the conceptual level and expect you as the reader to connect the dots as to how to execute.

      The growth hacking course really is more built for people who are new to growth hacking – people who have products or even product ideas but aren't even sure where to start getting new users. Most likely experienced growth hackers will find it slow or find that they know a lot of it already, because I don't spend a ton of time diving into really specific tactics. That's a hard thing to do in one course because different people have such different needs within different companies.

      I wanted to help someone construct a growth plan for their startup and set up the tools from start to finish. So the course covers:

      Building a landing page, copywriting & positioning, landing page optimization, setting up a/b tests.

      Implementing analytics/tracking code and tools (Mixpanel and Segment.io), UTM and link tracking codes, segmentation reports, funnels.

      Creating mailing lists, setting up a drip campaign (10 day vs 30 day with examples), creating incentive structures and optimizing call to actions.

      Acquisition strategies, paid ads and tools, organic content strategy, seo, pr hacking.

      Referral and virality quick wins.

      Onboarding. Measuring retention and retention growth hacks. And finally a few quick revenue things.

  • MG

    Mattan Griffel

    about 3 years ago #

    :)

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    about 3 years ago #

    What's the one thing that you know (or feel) about marketing/growth hacking that no one else gets (as well as you do)?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Haha I recognize the Peter Thiel style question.

      This is actually a really tough one, because I think for any particular discipline within growth hacking, there are definitely people out there who know more than me (eg. SEO, landing page optimization, referral programs, etc.).

      But here are a few things that I often find people don't get: email is king, track the things you're doing, don't be upset if your numbers suck, you'll mess up a lot and that's okay, don't be afraid to piss off your users.

      The last part is tough. People often get very sensitive about doing anything that might alienate early users. But experimenting will almost necessarily do that. You have to be okay giving it all up to try something new. Otherwise you'll slowly just run out of money trying to make everyone happy.

  • DL

    Dylan La Com

    about 3 years ago #

    Very excited to have you on GH @mattangriffel!

    Do you have any tips you can share on creating and encouraging a growth culture within a startup?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Yeah that's a really challenging problem. Off the top of my head, a growth culture has a few characteristics:

      Experimentation – The biggest thing you can do at a startup is create a culture in which experimentation is encouraged. This means that people at all levels of the company are encouraged to come with ideas of things to test, their ideas aren't shot down as being "stupid" or "wrong" (be careful how you respond as a manager), and one where victories are celebrated while failures aren't punished. Failures should be seen as a learning opportunity as well. If you can create a culture where learning is prioritized, then you're off to a good start.

      Transparency and data accessibility – You need to build the tools or have them available to make data really transparent. That means being able to measure exactly what's going on. This is really important in order to create a feeling that the results of your experiments are being measured, and it can almost gamify the growth hacking process within your company.

      Empowerment – Again, everyone needs to be able to contribute ideas, because there's no way one person can have all the answers or will come up with all the ideas.

      • DL

        Dylan La Com

        about 3 years ago #

        Thanks @mattangriffel Love the perspective on 'failure' as a learning experience.

        How does your team organize and prioritize growth ideas? Any tools/techniques you can share?

        • MG

          Mattan Griffel

          about 3 years ago #

          Yeah most of our project management happens in Asana right now. We've got a backlog of experiments we'd like to run, a log of experiments we're currently running, and a google doc with past experiments and learning so that we can build on them. It's modeled after a similar organization Brian Balfour at HubSpot uses (see him talk about it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0APJlxMjPw4)

  • MG

    Mattan Griffel

    about 3 years ago #

    Alright, fire away!

    • JS

      jan sauer

      about 3 years ago #

      Mattan, thx for doing this. Question: We have a mature product from Denmark htat is a "vitamin not a painkiller". It's meeting room management software fyi to display what's going on in the room to avoid walk-in, etc.. Any thoughts on growthhacks to get this firms product adoption accelerated in a new market?

      • MG

        Mattan Griffel

        about 3 years ago #

        That's a hard question to answer without knowing much about the context. You're saying it's a "vitamin" given that people you've talked to have said something like, "this isn't really a problem that we have"?

        If that's the cast then there's no really much you can do to accelerate growth dramatically. I would go back to the customer development stage and talk to potential customers to figure out if you can identify any related problems they might have. My guess is that you were probably onto something initially, otherwise you wouldn't have created a product in the first place, it's just that what you ended up with currently isn't something that people need. Go back to the core of why you started this in the first place.

        Otherwise you're just going to have to go with the typical sales, education slog. There are people much more qualified than me to talk about rapidly building sales organizations.

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    about 3 years ago #

    The concept of Singularity University is truly mind-blowing. Can you tell us more about your experience there? How can growth-hacking relate to the ideas discussed at S.U.?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Note: I'm particularly interested in Singularity University since I studied philosophy of consciousness, and my thesis advisor was a guy named David Chalmers who wrote a few big papers on the Singularity and how we should prepare for it :)

      At Singularity University, in particular, I saw a lot of really bright teams and people that had identified problems to solve and had really good solutions, but weren't always equipped with the tools to build those solutions. So a lot of the teaching was around rapid prototyping using coding frameworks like Ruby on Rails and getting those solutions into the market quickly to validate the ideas, marketing, and the business models behind them.

      • LS

        Logan Stoneman

        about 3 years ago #

        Thanks @mattangriffel - as a follow up, I've heard many debates speaking on the important majors or degrees those in marketing, growthhacking, or general business should study.

        What majors do you think are the most important for a college student to study, given your experience in philosophy?

        • MG

          Mattan Griffel

          about 3 years ago #

          I almost feel like it would be a bad thing for a growth hacker to have studied marketing or even business in college. Often, creativity comes from applying concepts across disciplines in novel ways (that's the whole IDEO model). Philosophy was great for helping me think critically about problems and also improved my writing skills immensely. Engineering would help someone understand the technology that you'd have to use as a growth hacker, but I fear it would give you too myopic of a perspective. I also studied finance but the only value that came out of it was a strong understanding of excel and how to build powerpoints.

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey @mattangriffel , when you hear the word 'successful' who or what do you first think of? Why?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      I think success is all open to interpretation. Sometimes we think of someone as successful because other people have told us that they are. Whether it's money or fame or power, some of the most "successful" people are the least happy.

      Understand that being seen as successful is all about personal branding, which is just marketing at the end of the day. I always try to empower my students to be a little less hard on themselves. For example, when I tell people that I think everyone should teach classes because it's a good way to build a brand and an audience, a lot of people tell me that they don't have any expertise. That's bullshit. It's not that hard to develop an expertise.

  • JS

    Jared Smith

    about 3 years ago #

    if you had only one tip to give to a new growthhacker, what would it be and why?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Get good at learning new things. We all have our preferred channels that we like to learn through – exploring Quora and GrowthHackers.com, going to meetups, reading books, watching videos.

      Something really important and very related is recognizing when you don't know something and when learning will be useful. A lot of people are so hard on themselves about not being able to figure out stuff like how to set up profitable paid ads. Well, give it a genuine effort. Take a Udemy course or find an eBook or something, then give it at least 3 shots. If it still doesn't work, then you can move on to something new.

      • SD

        Sweeney Daniel

        about 3 years ago #

        That being said..

        How do you filter that constant influx of 'new growth hacks'?

        • MG

          Mattan Griffel

          about 3 years ago #

          By trying them :)

          You prioritize them by how much work you think they will take vs. what the potential effect will be.

  • DS

    David Spinks

    about 3 years ago #

    Thanks for doing the AMA Mattan.

    After starting with Rails, how did you decide which courses to build next and what have been your biggest challenges in expanding to new audiences with each class?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Great question. The courses we're working on next are a combination of what students are asking for, what skills are needed that aren't currently being taught well, and what amazing teachers my co-founder and I know personally. The biggest challenge is maintaining quality as we scale up our curriculum, and identifying acquisition strategies that work well and are repeatable across many different courses and topics.

      My personal biggest challenge is learning how to lead a team. It's taught me a lot about myself and my strengths as well as flaws as an individual.

      • DS

        David Spinks

        about 3 years ago #

        Good stuff. You should chat with Ryan Hoover at ProductHunt if you haven't already. Sounds like you guys are thinking through some similar things.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey Mattan, I just looked back at the Growth Hacking deck that you mention in the title http://growthhackers.com/slides/growth-hacking-or-lean-marketing-for-startups-by-mattan-griffel/ . 284K views is pretty crazy!

    You really did a great job explaining what growth hacking is and how to get the most out of it. What inspired you to invest so much time in creating this deck? What was your goal for the presentation? Was it prep work for your one month growth hacking class?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Actually this is the exact deck that I use when I teach in person classes on growth hacking. It's evolved over time and with feedback from my students.

      I first proposed the idea of a short, evening class on growth hacking at General Assembly, and started teaching it in mid-2012. Mostly it was a way to get more clients for GrowHack and as a hack to force me to sharpen my skills and synthesize all the things I had read and practiced.

      My teaching hack is that I like to put all the words to my presentations on the slides themselves, because that way I don't have to memorize what I'm going to say. All it takes is a little bit of typographical design and it actually makes for a pretty compelling presentation style to watch in person (I liken it to watching a good TV commercial, which has lots of cuts almost every second to make it feel more exciting).

      A cool side effect of this is that I can post the slides from my class online and people can enjoy them even without me being there in person.

      I did the same with my How to Teach Yourself to Code class ( slides here: www.slideshare.net/mattangriffel/how-to-teach-yourself-to-code) which has now been viewed 140k times. Others have had varying degrees of success, though Building Great Presentations is also relevant and has 25k views (slides here: http://www.slideshare.net/mattangriffel/building-great-presentations-14607985).

      Why did I put them on Slideshare in the first place? At the beginning of each in-person class, someone would always ask "Will you be sending out the slides?" So rather than get everyone's email and email it later, I just posted them on Slideshare and tweeted out a link to the slides live from the front of the class. This netted me a handful of new Twitter followers with each class, who often retweeted the slides.

      I've been able to reach way more people digitally than I ever would have in person.

  • JV

    Jamil Velji

    about 3 years ago #

    Bought the course, loving it so far.

    My main question is, what are some resources (books, webinars, videos, blogs, courses, whatever) that you would recommend for on-going/more advanced learning beyond the course?

  • SO

    Sorin Olaru

    about 3 years ago #

    Looking forward to this

  • JD

    Jason Dea

    about 3 years ago #

    Do you find there are products or verticals that are more or less conducive to growth hacking techniques? As a consultant, have there ever been clients you've turned away because you didn't think your type of services would be appropriate?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Yeah I'm not very good at mobile. I haven't done a lot of mobile growth hacking and it can be harder because developing on mobile can be kind of a walled garden – iteration is much slower, you're limited in the kind of testing you can do, and you can't get as much data.

      The clients we turn away most are ones that are trying to use growth hacking techniques to solve product/market fit problems. They aren't getting any users because they haven't figured out a product people want yet, but they want to throw money or effort at the problem to make it go away, which it won't. Customer development and product development are really interesting fields, but they're definitely a whole other beast from growth hacking.

  • DL

    Dylan La Com

    about 3 years ago #

    Is there a particular growth tactic that you feel is underrated or not taken advantage of enough by startups?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Retargeting paid ads is probably the easiest one that not many companies are implementing. Check out Adroll or A Perfect Audience. Although paid advertising is general is easier to swallow if you're charging for a product up front.

      That being said, I see very few companies use paid advertising as research tools. We get a lot of really useful insight by testing out the copy of our ads as well as the target demographics. Tim Ferriss, for example, originally planned on calling his book "How to Be a Drug Dealer" before he ran Google Adwords and "The 4 Hour Workweek" crushed all the other variations in terms of clickthrough rate.

      • MT

        Michael Taylor

        almost 3 years ago #

        ^^ this is so true - it annoys me whenever I see a startup that is proud that they grew without paid marketing... seems like a missed opportunity to me! We've seen great results testing brand value propositions on Facebook and it's a great way to push some users through the funnel to figure out what your conversion and retention rates are. Using Facebook you can even test what audience is most engaged with your offering.

  • YB

    Yael Baifus

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Mattan,

    I just signed up for your One Month Growth Hacking course.
    My biggest question for you for someone who is new to growth hacking and is very interested in analytics, what is the most common program used to compile and compare metrics?
    What options are out there and what is the most commonly used among start-ups?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      The most popular one is probably Google Analytics. It's not great for a few reasons. It's overly complex to set up, it emphasizes page views (which isn't usually the best thing to look at), and it doesn't have great support.

      Usually companies will use event-based analytics tracking software like Mixpanel or KISSmetrics. We use Mixpanel at One Month.

      I'm also a big fan of Segment.io, which lets you forward your data to a whole bunch of different analytics tools and options (including Qualaroo).

      • YB

        Yael Baifus

        about 3 years ago #

        When you're talking about event-based analytics, essentially you're saying that tracking software like Mixpanel or KISSmetrics allows you to define specific "events" that you would like to track?

        Does Segment.io pull data from multiple sources other than a company's website (like social media platforms, blogs, etc.)?
        More importantly, is all the data measured under the same metrics for easy comparison?

        • MG

          Mattan Griffel

          about 3 years ago #

          Yes exactly right in terms of tracking events we'd like to track.

          Segment.io unfortunately doesn't pull data from multiple sources, only those sources that you have the ability to add tracking code to. Until social media companies and the other ones you mentioned get more flexible or open about how their data can be used, it will be hard to pull it all into one place. Tools like FullContact are working on solutions to this problem, but it's not where I wish it was yet.

          As for data being measured under the same metrics, it's kind of up to you to define. The value of a tool like Segment.io is that you can track an event in one place and tie it to one specific user, and then have that event or property available across all your different analytics tools for you to do whatever you want with. You still have to set up your funnels in mixpanel for example.

          • YB

            Yael Baifus

            about 3 years ago #

            Thanks for the thorough response.
            Joel was the one that recommended OMGH to me. I need to thank him for the referral :)

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Also hi Yael! And welcome.

  • JS

    Jared Smith

    about 3 years ago #

    what is something we should ask you about, that we have not already asked?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Maybe something like "Why is growth hacking interesting?"

      • JS

        Jared Smith

        about 3 years ago #

        We'll go with that. Why is growth hacking interesting?

        • MG

          Mattan Griffel

          about 3 years ago #

          Good question! Growth hacking definitely represents a new, interesting trend in how tools are allowing small companies to do more and be more agile than big companies, and therefore take marketshare or grow new markets incredibly quickly. A team of 6 can now do what it used to take 200 people to do, because there are incredibly powerful tools now available to almost anyone. In a sense, the tech world is flat.

          There's also this counterculture component of the growth hacking movement that I'm a big supporter of. It says that you don't need to study marketing to be effective at growing the user base of a company or product, in fact it can hold you back if you think you know a lot about what's going to work and not work, and how you're supposed to do it. The same is happening in coding right now (see One Month Rails).

          The biggest thing holding people back is themselves, and when we realize that we really can learn or accomplish new things at any point in our lives, it's going to unlock an incredible potential in the world and make us all a lot happier.

  • MY

    Mahdi Yusuf

    about 3 years ago #

    I have recently built a game, I am looking to get it in front of more and more people. How would you go about growing a game for iOS. I dont have tons to spend on expensive ad buys. etc.

    I have a landing page and twitter account. Its not like I can start a blog around the fairly straight forward game either. What tools do I have to gain more users to play the game?

    Thanks for doing this!

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      First of all, do you know if it's a game people enjoy? How many people who play it come back to play it again the next day? Or the next week? You can track this kind of stuff now with tools like Mixpanel. If it's not sticky at all (no one's coming back) then you shouldn't be focusing on acquiring new users, you should be spending serious time with individuals one on one, watching how they play the game, and asking them what they're enjoying and not enjoying. You'll most like find a lot of optimizations in areas like the onboarding process. If a product is good, users will tell other people about it. Good products generally grow a little bit on their own, they just don't grow as fast as they could.

      If getting it in front of people is really the problem then you have to get creative. For example, who are your ideal gamers? What kind of stuff are they interested in? Where do they hang out? Once you know that, then it's much easier to think about how to get in front of them. Mint and OKCupid both had a lot of success building blogs around things that their products didn't technically do. Mint wrote great content around financial questions like filing taxes and choosing 401ks. OKCupid has awesome posts about social / behavioral habits online and whether iPhones users have more sex than Android users (they do).

      There are plenty of ways to hustle and grow when you're small. Print out flyers, be sneaky on Craiglists, go to events and tell other people about "this amazing game" they have to try that you're addicted to and then install it on their phones, teach classes about building games and show off yours, cross-promote with other mobile game developers, etc. Just a few ideas.

  • SO

    Sorin Olaru

    about 3 years ago #

    @mattangriffel growth hacking has begun as a purely startup and more precisely tech specific startup endeavor. But as it starts permeating the culture, more and more companies are creating growth teams. I for one truly believe that as tech becomes more ubiquitous, the next step in the evolution of the discipline is to apply some of these concepts to everyday , brick and mortar businesses (cafes, retail, etc) where user acquisition and sales funnel can be measured and optimized digitally and in the store. Can you see it evolving this way? How would you go about implementing such an effort?

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      about 3 years ago #

      Yeah I think growth hacking techniques could be applied to all sorts of business like brick-and-mortar or b2b. If you get creative, you can apply things like the Learn Marketing Framework to personal branding, selling books, starting movements and even revolutions. Every idea has to acquire followers somehow and get those followers engaged, etc.

  • JW

    justin wu

    about 3 years ago #

    Subscribed to One Month Rails - loved it. Do you plan to ever go beyond One Month? Such as a follow up course to keep going forward or do you see One Month more as an intro to lot of things to get us going on other resources after?

    Either way appreciate the courses!

    • MG

      Mattan Griffel

      almost 3 years ago #

      Yeah definitely. In a few ways, One Month Stripe is the followup to One Month Rails in that it teaches Active Admin, payment processing, and some more advanced concepts. One Month Web Security also. They courses are build to be modular and taken one after another. What else would you want to see?

  • AP

    Artfuly Page

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Mattan, I have a 1 year old startup called artfuly.com and I have 100 artists and 400 people on my email list, but things have stalled. We just launched globally for artists and about to for buyers. We deliver original one-off hand created artworks (and fine art) from studio door to art collectors door. I'm looking for ways to drive more traffic to my site and get sales, and also to increase my email list. Can you help with suggesstions please? The big problem is tiny budgets for SEO and advertising. Thanks, Rachael

  • JS

    Javier Sanz

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey @mattangriffel what's your plan if your course does not reach out your desired goals?

  • JB

    Jaki Bent

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Mattan,
    This is my first post here and I am totally 'green' to all of this.
    Reading one of your replies below I would say that this part sums us up:

    I saw a lot of really bright teams and people that had identified problems to solve and had really good solutions, but weren’t always equipped with the tools to build those solutions.

    I don't even know how to make best use of this space but am happy to look foolish to learn!
    Our small team is in the process of creating an interactive map that will pinpoint charities, nfp's and community projects across the uk. We need to grow our skills, learn fast, fail forward and make it happen. We also need to get some volunteer developers on board who want to build their reputation and be part of a significant positive social impact project. (IfEveryoneCares.org & Ododow.org)

    What steps would you suggest?
    (Ps we have just been shortlisted to pitch in Oxford this weekend at a conference!)
    Much Gratitude - Jaki

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