January 07, 2016
As a product surpasses early adopters, growth compounds in complexity and difficulty. The first stage of growth usually involves scrappy techniques to raise a round and prove the idea. The next phase gets more complicated with monetization and user accounting. This is when a startup sets itself out from the pack as a rocket-ship.
Growing beyond early adopters presents a new set of growth challenges that requires specialization and more minds on the task of growth. A single, generalist growth hacker can be ineffective as a product gains mass adoption. You need to build a team focused on growth, not just an individual.
A growth team is different from a growth hacker in that it’s the specialization of a growth hacker’s role. Different stages of company growth require different types of growth teams. Growth hacking is not the same thing as a growth team. A growth hacker is a generalist who can attack several channels effectively. Growth teams are a group of specialized growth hackers.
Though a growth team retains most of the mantra of a growth hacker, growing into a larger team naturally reduces agility and some of the hacker (black hat) nature. “Comparing a growth teams to a growth hacker is like comparing marital arts to mixed martial arts. Both are fighters but on the ground, in a growth at all costs environment, you need a mixed martial artist,” Farmer said.