Startups pioneered growth hacking because of their resource-constrained desperation. Breaking through the noise is just too difficult when well-entrenched companies have the resources to dominate traditional marketing channels. For meaningful growth, startups must completely change the rules of traditional channels or innovate outside of those growth channels.
Author includes a personal example of how desperation trying to compete against led one of his early teams to invent the viral embeddable widget. And how it helped them dethrone Sony as the leader in online games.
Author suggests all smart marketers (at big companies and small) should embrace growth hacking. Trying to play by the rules in established channels leads to incremental growth at best.
Related Post: Video: How Resource Constraints Lead to Innovation