Unleashing Business Sense: Connecting the Dots between Gulliver's Founder and Growth Models



Sep 01, 2023 • 3 min read


Unleashing Business Sense: Connecting the Dots between Gulliver's Founder and Growth Models

In every industry, there are often contradictions that go unnoticed by those within it. However, it is those who can confront these contradictions head-on that possess true business sense. It is from these points of contradiction that exceptional strategies are born.

One example of a business leader who exemplifies this sense is Gulliver's founder, Kaneshi Hatori, in the used car sales industry. Hatori's ability to identify and address the inconsistencies within the industry has propelled Gulliver to great success. By acknowledging the flaws and challenges inherent in the used car market, Hatori was able to develop a unique approach that set Gulliver apart from its competitors.

Similarly, in the world of product development and growth, understanding the core purpose of your product and the problems it addresses is essential. Josh Elman, in his article on building growth models and the ladder of engagement, emphasizes the importance of identifying the purpose and value your product brings to users. This understanding forms the foundation of your growth model, as it allows you to create a funnel that guides users from initial awareness to long-term engagement.

Elman suggests breaking down your product into specific skills or tasks that users need to comprehend in order to fully utilize its potential. By focusing on these key steps, you can cultivate user adoption and retention. Much like Hatori's approach to used car sales, Elman's growth model emphasizes the importance of addressing the contradictions and challenges within your industry to create a successful strategy.

One key aspect of both Hatori's business sense and Elman's growth model is the concept of the "hook." The hook is the initial enticement that draws users in and sparks their interest in your product. For Gulliver, this may be the promise of quality used cars at affordable prices. For Twitter, as Elman mentions, the hook lies in showing users "what's happening in their world" every time they check the app.

As users progress through the funnel, it is crucial to facilitate their understanding of the product's purpose and value. Hatori achieved this by ensuring that Gulliver's customers understood the benefits of buying used cars, such as cost savings and a wide selection. Similarly, Elman suggests building features that encourage users to explore and engage with more advanced functionalities as they become more comfortable with the product.

By connecting these ideas, we can gain valuable insights into developing successful strategies in any industry. Whether it's used car sales or product growth, the ability to confront and address contradictions is a hallmark of business sense. Here are three actionable pieces of advice that can help guide your strategy:

  • 1. Identify the core purpose of your product: Understand the problem your product solves and the value it brings to users. This will form the basis of your growth model and guide your funnel development.
  • 2. Break down your product into key steps: Determine the specific skills or tasks users need to grasp in order to fully utilize your product. Focus on these steps to drive user adoption and retention.
  • 3. Emphasize the "hook" and purpose: Create an initial enticement that draws users in and showcases the purpose and value of your product. This will help users understand why they should continue engaging with your product.

In conclusion, the examples of Kaneshi Hatori and Josh Elman highlight the importance of confronting contradictions and challenges within an industry to develop successful strategies. By understanding the core purpose of your product, breaking it down into key steps, and emphasizing the hook and purpose, you can create a growth model that guides users from initial awareness to long-term engagement. Business sense lies in the ability to connect these dots and create strategies that address the unique challenges of your industry.


  1. "中古車販売のガリバー創業者・羽鳥兼市の経営センス | 楠木建 | テンミニッツTV", https://10mtv.jp/pc/content/detail.php?movie_id=2006 (Glasp)
  2. "Building your growth model and Ladder of Engagement | by Josh Elman | Medium", https://joshelman.medium.com/building-your-growth-model-and-ladder-of-engagement-3b3a18f2d1a8 (Glasp)

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