Introducing “The Growth Hacker’s Cookbook”

A crowdsourced smörgåsbord of mouthwatering marketing recipes.

I’m starting a collection of marketing recipes from the Heston Blumenthal’s of the growth hacking world. It’s called The Growth Hacker’s Cookbook.

“Learn to cook — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all, have fun.”
—Julia Child

Cooking & Growth Wizardry

Exceptional marketing—as with exceptional cooking —comes down to learning a few fundamental principles upon which everything else is built. These principles are best derived from the process of discovering and attempting new recipes.

“We have artists with no scientific knowledge and scientists with no artistic knowledge.”
—Robert Parsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence

Growth—An Art or a Science?

Renowned chef Alton Brown writes that he approaches cooking from a scientific angle because ‘If [he] understands the egg, [he] can scramble it better’ and modern gastro-genius’ would surely look up from their dry ice and nod their heads. Yet others, for example back in the 19th century the French chef and restaurateur Marcel Boulestin argued that:

“Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.”

The art vs. science debate has raged for centuries across many disciplines yet it is still fresh in the marketing world.

I would argue that effective growth (let’s all agree that is the aim for now) is a blend of both the art (creativity) & science (hacking) — mixing the analytical with the instinctive, infusing data-driven insights with doses of humanity, engineering viral loops with a deep understanding of the art of storytelling and why they spread.

“The great driver of scientific and technological innovation [in the last 600 years has been] the increase in our ability to reach out and exchange ideas with other people, and to borrow other people’s hunches and combine them with our hunches and turn them into something new.”
Steven Johnson, author of ‘Where Good Ideas Come From’

Creativity is combinatorial, everything is a remix, nothing is entirely original. An experienced marketer will connect old dots in new ways or cross-pollinate ideas between disciplines adding their own twist in the process.

I have learnt everything from devouring case studies told in the form of stories—from Oliver Emberton’s most upvoted Quora answer of all time, Jacob Klein’s million pageview day, Mike Del Ponte’s Hacking Kickstarter, Noah Kagan’s quant-based strategy at MINT, Andrew Chen’s deconstruction of Airbnb’s brilliant Craigslist hack Tim Ferriss’ lessons learned while marketing the 4 hour body, Point Blank’s awesome list of outreach ideas and this guy who raps about performance, feedback revision.

Alone these posts are fascinating in their own right but the sparks really start flying when you throw them in the blender—when the ideas have sex as Matt Ridley puts it.

The aim of this new case-study compendium is to accelerate this process—to create a growth hacking orgy of ideas—a combinatorial explosion of epiphanies and a shared resource for us all to draw inspiration from.

Below you will find the suggested growth hacking recipe format.

| The Growth Hacking Recipe Format |

The Dish |

Was it a compelling viral loop optimised to perfection? A cheeky engineering hack? A piece of content seeded amongst influencers?

Preparation |

What theories and principles did you draw upon? What inspired the idea? How long did it take you? Was it just you and a laptop or did you have a 10-person team and a six figure budget?

Results |

This is where you get to blow your own horn a little. What were the measurable outcomes (both the good and the ugly). Be as specific as you can.

Reflection |

The only bit that really matters—what did you learn? What were the juicy actionable take-aways from your experimentation?

Want to be a part of the Growth Hacking Cookbook? Superb! Just follow the steps below:

Step 1. Press the follow collection button below (bottom right)—you will then see new contributions appear on the home page.

Step 2. Definitely don’t nudge the big green ‘Recommend’ button — otherwise more people would hear about this post, potentially adding their recipes and making the collection even better…

Step 3. Definitely do put on your thinking cap and submit your deliciously creative example of growth-hackery to the collection here or drop me a note @jonnym1ller

Bon Appétit!