The History of Growth Hacking

The History of Growth Hacking

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Michael Witte

Growth Scientist

Here at Growth97, we focus on growth hacking. We follow a company’s user base throughout its entire lifecycle and identify the most effective path towards growth using reliable data. Many businesses throughout the world are now using growth hacking as a dependable method to widen their overall reach. But what exactly are the origins of growth hacking? Where did this practice come from and when was it conceived?

The Beginning

Specifically, the term “growth hacker” was coined in 2010 by the entrepreneur, Sean Ellis. Viewed as the creator of growth hacking, Ellis has helped hundreds of startups thrive over the years using his growth hacking techniques. He is also the founder of Qualaroo and the current CEO of GrowthHackers. Ten years ago, he wrote in a blog post that a growth hacker is “a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.

The Popularization

This newly coined term was then popularized by a blog post later written by Andrew Chen titled “Growth Hacker is the New VP Marketing.” In this post, Chen exemplifies the growth strategies of Airbnb as a widely successful implementation of growth hacking. He states in his writing that growth hackers “are a hybrid of a marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of ‘How do I get customers for my product?’ and answers with A/B tests, landing, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph.”

The Community

By 2013, Sean Ellis was able to start GrowthHackers, which helped foster an entire community of growth hackers through written articles, growth studies, and experiments. Within the same year, the second annual “Growth Hackers Conference” was held in San Francisco in which employees from Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, and other notable companies shared their growth hacking knowledge and techniques with each other.

The Benefits

Growth hacking soon became a global phenomenon entrusted by hundreds of varying businesses. As mentioned, Airbnb used growth hacking to help expand their user base and reach. By implementing the “Post to Craigslist” function into their website, Airbnb was able to directly display user ads to Craigslist and widen their overall visibility. Youtube also employed growth hacking in their decision to create the “Confirm Channel Subscription” feature, which boosted their total subscription base by 400%.

Although growth hacking is relatively new within the context of marketing, it has made a huge impact on how companies approach business. With proven success, it has become an entrusted tool for maximizing results while simultaneously keeping costs down. If you have a company that is in need of growth, consider how Growth97 and growth hacking in general can help you become more efficient in your endeavors today!

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