Culture Of High Performance Growth Teams
Any great growth team starts with great principles to guide them. These are the principles that guided the process, hiring, and decision making for the growth team I implemented at HubSpot and the many companies I advise. Get more series such as this one.
The most important principle. Be the best at getting better. I firmly believe if this is the primary focus, we will win in a long run as a company, team, and professionals. Learning is a competitive advantage in growth, and as a result we aim to be the best at it. Read more about this principle and how we apply it.
There is a cycle that plagues a lot of companies.
It typically works like this:
1. XYZ startup wants some press, so they look for some bloated number to give the writer (downloads, registrations, visits, etc)
2. XYZ startup then celebrates that press article internally supporting the message that the bloated metric is worth pursuing
3. In order to get additional press hits, XYZ startup needs to increase that bloated number, so they focus on increasing it (back to Step 1)
This cycle is what I call the Wheel Of Meaningless Growth.
Is growth an art or science? Some praise the creativeness of new growth hacks. Others praise the quantitative maneuvering of analytical growth geniuses.
That question has been debated. But are we asking the right question?
The creative juice brings new ideas around story telling, great copywriting, unique ad creative, and never tried before growth tactics. But the quantitative science helps us measure the largest friction points, validate areas of opportunity, and understand how users behave at scale.
It seems the better question is how do we balance both? Truly brilliant growth teams are ones that figure out how to combine the nature of art and science to accelerate growth.
Warren Buffet gives the advice "If it isn’t the most important thing, avoid it at all costs.” Peter Thiel use to famously walk around the Paypal offices and refuse to talk to you unless it was about your currently assigned number one initiative. It’s no secret that I’m a big believer that focus wins professionally and personally. But when it comes to growth, I think focus is vital. Which is why the fourth principle that guides our growth philosophy is "Focus Wins."
Your team may focus on specific areas at specific times going through intense periods of optimization and learning. It might feel like you are "done" with that area, but that is a very very dangerous mentality. There are two core reasons for this. Find out what they are and how to stay in the right mentality.