In search of the Growth Hacker….


Sometimes things just creep up on you don’t they? I’m currently looking at what I need in terms of new staff for a major development push at work and someone I trust said “You need a Growth Hacker!” Yes, they even said it with an exclamation mark.

Never heard of it. But when I investigated it’s clearly me being slow. Assuming there are even slower people than me out there I thought, having now looked it up and reflected upon it a little, I’d blog about it.

Wikipedia defines it as follows : Growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure”. A little more digging shows it as well established (on 4/5/14 I found 484,000 hits on the big G for the phrase “growth hacking” and over 500 jobs for “Growth Hacker” on However, it’s clear that the job description has not really settled down yet as the salary ranges are:

‪$40,000+ (230)

‪$60,000+ (164)

‪$80,000+ (86)

‪$100,000+ (33)

‪$120,000+ (12)

In addition to have a look at this website wide for other jobs around this cluster of ideas:

Given the variety in salary ranges and the evangelical language around some of the job descriptions out there (e.g “Growth Hacking is a relatively new discipline that is part marketer, part developer and part magician. The Growth Hacker moves the needle in a major way and has the primary focus of gathering new users by leveraging technology” ) does this new job title makes any sense?

The May to August 2014 internship mentioned in the previous paragraph identifies a really interesting set of characteristics applicants must have:

 – You must have a hustler-like personality. (Think Steve Jobs-like obsession with product, Seth Godin-like ability to know people, and Tim O’Reilly-like belief in data. )

– Javascript

Here are the common characteristics:

– Constant learner

– Aggressive at moving the needle

– Obsessed with moving the needle

– Enjoys pushing the limits (Dan Martell -“TOS are secondary to growth hackers”)

– Lives and breathes product

– Creative problem solver ( Jim Young “Its an art and science”)

– Everything is about growth (Hesky Kutscher “Why do you build anything that does not help you grow?”)

– Hunter-like instincts

Hmmm…. Every organisation needs most of this so I will looking to see how this job title develops and where it fits in the strategy-tactics continuum. It’s not quite what I’m looking for in the post I’m currently devising but it sure makes me think broader about the future.  Will growth hacking drive an organisation forwards or fade away as a subset of a marketing job description? Is it a social media marketer on steroids or a “big data” manager getting strategic?  Is it a new post for a new era?