Growth Hacking Parkour

As I have mentioned in this blog before, I am all about helping companies drive growth. It is the unifying theme that pulls together my long and winding career. Recently (thanks to Sean Ellis) I have been using the term “growth hacker” as my shorthand description. While catchy, it still elicits a look of puzzlement. I am currently working for a soon-to-beta startup. I was brought in by a group of angel investors as part of the preparation for launch. You will no doubt hear more about this company in the next few months as we move rapidly through private beta and into public launch.

As I looked back over my schedule for last week I realized that perhaps the best way to describe what I do is to provide a glimpse into a “typical” day (no such thing in startup land). The following schedule is fairly representative of almost any day last week.

6:30 AM – 7:15 AM

Breakfast while skimming bookmarked blog posts and articles from previous night.

7:15 AM – 7:30 AM

Walk to work (love my commute!) and grab coffee

7:30 AM – 8:00 AM

E-mail: flag, file, and forward. If I am not the bottleneck then you will likely get my response later in the day.

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Call with investor regarding subscription amount (he wants us to make room for another angel) and milestones. Love the vote of confidence and promise to get back to him on the over subscription. He is not the only that asked. Send quick note to team to let them know about the enthusiasm.

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Call with lawyer to confirm proposed revision to operating agreement and 2 other deal points. Our lawyers are awesome and all about JFDI, not billing us for long chats.

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Get screamed at by vendor who is owed a payment (this money was supposed to be in a bit earlier). Remind him that we are going to be HUGE and that he really wants to work with us (Jedi Mind Trick). And that he will get a check next week. He buys it (so do I BTW otherwise I wouldn’t be here) and we laugh about how bad my baseball team is (Chicago Cubs) and set a time to talk next week.

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Beta planning session. Discuss user orientation, learning capture plans, support and documentation needs. Lots to do.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Lunch at desk while flagging links for later reading and following up on e-mails from this morning that I could not do while in Beta session.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Talk with marketing about product and pricing. Need to do homework on API pricing. We need a new name for the product. We need some demo videos made. Quick assignments and EOD reconvene scheduled.

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Call with channel partner. Excited by progress. Offer to help with demo videos (they know a guy who knows a guy).

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Budget review. Burn rate discussion. Review report to investors for next week.

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Email, create draft presentation for product, review cap table and comp plans, more email.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Call with West coast investor about this company, another company he invested in, convertible notes with caps and how Diet Coke’s causes memory loss (I am powered by Diet Coke and almonds most days).

7:00 PM – ???

Dinner with friends and then home to read saved links, various blogs and make notes for tomorrow.

Growth Hacking = Parkour

Moving through the day, overcoming obstacles, shifting gears, making progress where none seems possible, that is growth hacking. Whatever needs to be done to move forward on the fastest path to cash (FP2C) gets done. Some people may look at the above agenda and think, “That looks crazy!” They have never been in or launched a startup. I look at it and think, “I can’t wait for tomorrow!” JFDI !

Growth Hacking: Good Day

Growth Hacking: Fail Day


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