Is digging deep the answer to your faltering growth strategies?


If tomorrow, some body says he knows the next growth hack for sure, don’t believe him.

Talk to a few growth team members, and you will suddenly come across jargons like DAUs, MAUs, Viral Coefficients and examples drawn from the likes of Airbnb, Uber, Hubspot, Pinterest, etc. Lets face it. Their growth hacks have worked, yours haven’t.

Matches are won on goals, not by possession

Here is the thing. No team wins a football match because they had more ball possession, they ultimately have to score more goals than their opponents

This perhaps is the biggest lesson I have learnt in my years as a part of the growth team. This analogy gives us the perfect example of the death trap of most growth teams. Lets look at it more carefully. Scoring more than your opponents translates to the most important metric your team needs to follow. Most importantly, this metric has to be measurable, direct, and independent of the efforts made by any other team. The North star metric. Defining the North Star metric forms the very basis of a growth team

This is where it gets tricky. Now lets look at the analogy again. Most times, football teams get content with more ball possessions, more no of attempts etc.These are often known as vanity metrics. I call it the Complacency metric.

All that shines is not gold

You continual effort may lead to improvements in other metrics which may be result of the bias of your tests, or even an independent result. Hence, this is where your resolve comes in handy. You have to continuously tell yourself not to get buoyed up by this ephemeral success. Remember, you need to score to win the match


If you are digging for oil, know where to dig

Let me get straight to the point here. You are not going to get anything by digging deeper, if you are not digging at the right place. Growth teams are different everywhere. And everybody seems to have the winning formula. But the truth is there is no ideal growth team structure. It is a function of the team size, the stage the company is in and the product. Techies believe they can hack their way towards frantic high velocity growth. Marketeers believe, they hold the key with their strong marketing fundamentals. Truth is nobody knows for sure.

Today, we are in the loop of drawing ideas from a bucket of ideas of other companies. We all know Ubers and AirBnbs of the world. Unfortunately, they are not your companies.

Today, we are in the loop of drawing ideas from a bucket of ideas of other companies. We all know Ubers and AirBnbs of the world. Unfortunately, they are not your companies. The strategies, however groundbreaking they may be, they might not be suited in your context. Hence, its important to innovate. Or the next best thing. Iterate rapidly. Define tests, measure and move on. Know where the oil is first and then start digging.