“Growth hacking” has evolved into one of those contemptible startup buzzwords, but underlying the jargon is a real marketing movement.
Sean Ellis, whose claim to fame is coining the term in 2010, launched a community news site today focused around growth hacking. Drawing inspiration from Y Combinator’s Hacker News, people can post articles and resources relating to this topic, comment and engage in discussions, and help the best stuff rise to the top through voting.
“GrowthHackers.com is about addressing the lack of news, resources, and condensed learning material for the rising number of growth hackers, but ultimately it’s about establishing that sense of community that will allow these innovative ideas to take off,” Ellis said. “In order for the community to really move forward, there needs to be a place where its members can trade ideas and build off one another.”
A growth hacker is basically just a glorified marketer, but their driving motivation is to create scaleable growth. Rather than traditional methods, these people leverage online techniques such as posting on social media, search engine optimization, analytics, A/B testing, and content marketing.
Tech guru Paul Graham once said that the only essential thing about a startup is growth.
“Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth,” he said. “The good news is, if you get growth, everything else tends to fall into place, which means you can use growth like a compass to make almost every decision you face.”
Growth hacking is about exploring new forms of marketing, getting creative with your strategy, and making the most out of limited resources. Spades of articles discuss this topic over the past few years as well as a vibrant subreddit and growth hacking conferences.
Ellis said the vision is for GrowthHackers.com to become more than a news source — an “autonomous community” where great marketing minds can meet.
“Growth hacking is more of a mindset than a fixed methodology, and as such, needs its own space to evolve,” he said.
Ellis was the first marketer at Dropbox and went on to found Qualaroo, a startup that helps companies take advantage of web-visitor revenue opportunities. GrowthHackers will operate with corporate backing from Qualaroo.
The site features posts such as “Ex-LinkedIn Product Manager on Reproducible Growth Hacking,” “A Data Scneitist Explains How To Maximize Your Influence On Twitter,” and “Best Way To Get More App Downloads For Your Startup.”
It also has a “Ask GH” thread for posing questions to Ellis and a “Company Focus” section where GrowthHacker’s own team publishes artless on the “inner workings” of high-growth companies, like GitHub and Upworthy.
It is based in Costa Mesa, Calif.