The Essence of Growth: Unlocking the Key to Explosive Startup Success


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 24, 2023

4 min read


The Essence of Growth: Unlocking the Key to Explosive Startup Success

In the fast-paced world of Silicon Valley, growth is the ultimate goal for startups. But what does it truly mean to achieve growth? According to Kosuke Mori, growth is the mechanism of advancing a business based on statistical evidence. It involves intentionally maximizing growth by improving the most crucial metrics through a system and mindset of experimentation and hypothesis testing. The cycle of rapidly iterating through daily experiments, learning from them, amplifying the results, and incorporating compounding growth is the essence of growth.

In order to fully understand the power of growth, it's essential to hack into human behavior through targeted experiments. Many seemingly unbeatable companies have achieved success by tirelessly following the growth process. As the saying goes, "Poor distribution - not product - is the number one cause of failure." It's not always the best product that wins, but rather the one that gains widespread adoption. Prioritization and setting clear goals are key factors in achieving growth.

One important indicator of a business's health is the ability to measure the impact of value for both users and the business itself. This metric should be specific, measurable, and fluctuate over time. By tracking the ratio of daily expected revenue to customer acquisition cost (CAC), companies can gain insight into the effectiveness of their growth strategies. Two essential numerical indicators that cannot be measured are impossible to improve. On the other hand, once something becomes measurable, it becomes an area where growth can undoubtedly be achieved.

In the realm of product development, Allen Zhang, the father of WeChat, offers valuable insights. He believes that product managers should be literary and artistic, not solely driven by logic. Zhang's product philosophy revolves around intuitive design, understanding human psychology, and technological feasibility. Building a product is akin to being in a relationship with users, rather than just engaging in business transactions. Product managers must have empathy and a deep understanding of users' needs. All features must go through a rigorous approval process to maintain a singular and coherent identity.

Zhang's principles for creating a good product include innovation, usefulness, beauty, ease of use, modesty, honesty, timelessness, attention to detail, environmental friendliness, and simplicity. He emphasizes the importance of technology in increasing efficiency and treating users as friends, as genuine empathy leads to long-term product usage. Quality, not openness, is the ultimate goal of a platform.

Communication plays a vital role in shaping an individual's self-image and thoughts. If users don't connect with a product on a deeper level, marketing efforts become meaningless. Building a healthy product takes time, but it ensures long-term growth. At WeChat, each feature or service is infused with meaning and a dream behind it. Features created solely for gaining traffic without providing value to users are bound to face problems.

Listening to every user request may lead to complexity and a loss of coherence. Instead, WeChat sees itself as its own competitor, constantly adapting to changing user tastes and needs. The platform aims to provide users with hope, as its success hinges on benefiting people rather than pursuing self-interest.

In conclusion, achieving explosive startup growth requires a combination of statistical evidence-based experimentation, prioritization, empathy towards users, and a deep understanding of human psychology. By incorporating these principles, startups can create a product that resonates with users and fosters long-term growth. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to maximize growth:

  • 1. Implement a culture of experimentation: Encourage daily experiments to gather insights and drive incremental improvements. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity and iterate quickly.
  • 2. Focus on the right metrics: Identify the key indicators that align with your business's mission and measure them consistently. This enables you to track progress, make data-driven decisions, and identify areas for improvement.
  • 3. Foster a user-centric approach: Develop a deep understanding of your users' needs, desires, and pain points. Use empathy to create products that provide genuine value and build long-lasting relationships with your users.

By following these actionable steps, startups can unlock the true potential of growth and propel their businesses to new heights. Remember, growth is not just about the numbers but about creating meaningful experiences for users and building a sustainable business.

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