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Micah Cohen, Director of Growth at Twenty20 shares the story of how they scaled the wrong customer acquisition channel for nearly a year before pivoting to success.

  • MC

    Micah Cohen

    over 1 year ago #

    Thanks for posting Morgan. Glad you liked the post. It's hard to share painful lessons sometimes...But, the truth is that I feel deeply grateful to have learned these lessons myself. I hope other teams will get value from it.

    • SE

      Sean Ellis

      over 1 year ago #

      Congrats @micahcohen on navigating a difficult transition. It's a great reminder that growth is rarely a straight line. The right sales model is a huge part of success (assuming the requisite product/market fit exists).

      We're actually going the opposite direction with GrowthHackers Projects. I really wanted a low touch or even self service model to work with the business - mainly because it's hard to scale and manage a team of sales people. But I'm finding that there is a lot of complexity for people to be successful with GrowthHackers Projects. While the product can be relatively simple, success often requires organizational changes that are hard for companies to navigate on their own. So we're moving in the direction of bundling consulting and software for a more complete solution. This will bring the price up for new customers, but the value of becoming more agile should far exceed the cost for our target customers.

      Anyway, figured it was important to share our path in case anyone is tempted to apply what worked for you blindly. Every business is different. We all want to emulate the sales model of a company we respect, but it often isn't the right fit. For me, I wanted to use the Atlassian low touch, land and expand model. However, a few weeks ago I spoke to their head of growth and he said that he didn't believe it would work for early stage VC backed companies because it limits the early growth rate. And for us in particular it doesn't seem to work for the reasons I stated above.

      Thanks again for sharing your story.

      • MC

        Micah Cohen

        over 1 year ago #

        I definitely agree @seanellis - every product is different and you need to figure out what's right for your business.

    • MB

      Morgan Brown

      over 1 year ago #

      This is a great story and example of how hard growth really is. Thanks for being so transparent with the risks, pains, etc. that go into figuring out what works. Most people only want to share the wins, not the slog it took to get there.

      One of my favorite lines is from Ben Horowitz who said “This is not checkers; this is motherfuckin' chess."

      I constantly think back to that when we run into different obstacles. There are very few straight lines in life.

    • MS

      Mark Silver

      over 1 year ago #

      Totally agree- learning from your mistakes is an admirable trait, however sharing your mistakes with the world in order to give others the opportunity to learn from them is pretty brave.

  • BH

    Benji Hyam

    over 1 year ago #

    Thanks for sharing this Morgan. @micahcohen - really appreciate the honesty in the article. Personally, having been an organization that suffered from this same problem (without recognizing what was wrong), it's refreshing to hear you be vulnerable and share important lessons with others.

  • KM

    Kevin Morris

    over 1 year ago #

    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." Churchill said this a long time ago!

    I really appreciate that you saw something wasn't working (dramatically!), looked in to why, developed a plan, and go to it! A lot of companies like to either ignore something is wrong or spend too much time not doing anything about it.

    I even more appreciate the candour and honesty in your post - not many people have that courage either! But for all of us looking to grow our businesses this insight is very valuable!

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