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In Hacking Growth, Sean Ellis, founder of and Morgan Brown take you behind the scenes of the fastest growing companies in the world: Facebook, Uber, Dropbox, Pinterest, AirBnB and many more, to uncover the secrets of how these teams move fast and compound win after win to crush their competition and create extraordinary value. Sean and Morgan provide the step-by-step growth hacking process that any company, in any vertical can use to find growth wins faster and leave their competition in the dust.

This is the first time this Growth Hacking Playbook is being revealed.

6 Reasons to Read Hacking Growth

No matter what kind of business you’re in


Supercharge your growth

In today’s hyper-competitive business arena, too many companies find themselves stuck in neutral, spending more money on marketing and sales without the results to show for it. Perhaps that’s why a survey done by the Fournaise Group found that 73% of CEOs agreed that “marketers lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient growth.” If you have that gnawing feeling in your gut that you should be growing faster, Hacking Growth will give you the game plan to break out of the doldrums. You’ll be instantly equipped with the team structure, process and tools needed to supercharge your growth in no time flat.


Make your product a ‘must-have’

“How would you feel if you could no longer use this product?” What would your customers say? Would they be crushed, like Dropbox or Eventbrite’s would? Or would they hardly even notice? If you’re afraid to ask that question, you’re not ready to grow. That’s because a must-have product is the table stakes to creating sustainable growth. You’ll find out exactly how to get the feedback you need and build the features that matter in order to take your product from just ok to can’t live without. And with that must-have foundation in place, Hacking Growth will show you how to make the most of that unstoppable advantage.


Break down silos stalling your growth

How often does your product team talk to your marketing team? When was the last time your engineers talked to customer success? Whether you know it or not, these organizational silos are slowing your growth. Today’s fastest companies use a new cross-functional structure, the growth team, to improve communication and collaboration to find new growth wins. Lead by a team lead, this team includes software developers, designers, marketers and product managers who work together to identify, prioritize and test new growth initiatives. This new structure allows for rapid deployment of promising growth bets, eliminating the often paralyzing stagnation that occurs as initiatives bounce between departments in traditional organizations. Learn how to build and run your own growth team to drive your company to new heights.


Build an agile growth machine

Do too many of your marketing efforts feel like you’re throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks? Or do you spend weeks in planning for a strategy that feels irrelevant the moment it’s finished? Either way, you end up in the same place: wasted time, wasted money and little to show for it. Instead, use the Growth Hacking process to become an agile growth organization that brings the best of rigorous, data driven experimentation and rapid learning and iteration to identify and make the most of new growth opportunities. Say goodbye to wasted money and time and say hello to a lean, proactive and fast-learning growth organization that delivers real results.


Experiment at a high tempo

Growth teams run the growth hacking process, a fast-paced, iterative learning loop that lets them generate, prioritize and test the best growth ideas they have. This fast feedback loop uses a data driven approach to create growth hypotheses which are then prioritized using Sean’s scoring model to identify the best bets for testing. Once prioritized the growth hacking process ensures rapid experimentation to find the winners. The entire process is underpinned by a rigorous, data driven approach to identifying opportunities for growth across the entire customer lifecycle: from acquisition and activation to retention and revenue. This book will take you step by step through the process so you can put it to work for your own business.


Grow like Facebook

Facebook’s growth team celebrates their 10th anniversary in 2017, starting from a team of five tasked with jumpstarting the company’s slowing growth, to now a multi-team business unit that has propelled the company to serving more than one billion people per day. In Hacking Growth, you’ll learn how to run the growth process that teams like Facebook run, build your team and find the biggest growth opportunities available to your business, no matter where they lay. In addition, we’ll give you our best thinking on how to apply the growth hacking process to all areas of your business, from retaining your best customers to optimizing your pricing and monetization strategies, to find untapped growth at every turn. If your business is hungry for growth, Hacking Growth will give you the tools and know-how you need to achieve it.


5 Steps to Driving Growth for Your Business

Building Growth Teams

At the core of today’s fastest growing companies is a new business unit called the Growth Team. This cross-functional team is made up of specialists from across the organization that come together to design and test new experiments that can lead to big growth wins. Managed by the Growth Lead, the team meets weekly and moves quickly through a prioritized queue of ideas that have the potential to improve business results throughout the customer lifecycle; from acquisition and activation, to retention and revenue. The team is comprised of builders and doers from software development, product management, data analytics, design and marketing to collaborate on innovative and incremental experiments that can move the metrics that matter most to the business.

Must-Have Products

Growth efforts are nothing without a product that people absolutely love. But how do you know if the product you’re working on is ‘can’t live without’ versus just ‘good enough’? In Hacking Growth you’ll learn how the Growth Team’s first order of business is figuring out exactly where the product or service is on the ‘Must-Have’ scale. Using Sean’s ‘Must-Have’ Survey, you’ll learn just how disappointed customers would be without your product and what to do according to just how attached they are. If your product fits the ‘Must-Have’ bill, we’ll show you how the Growth Team can get off to the races with their growth push, but if you’re not quite at that level, we’ll show you how the Growth Team can lead the way in figuring out what it will take to make your product indispensable to your customers.

Finding Your Growth Levers

Each type of business has it’s own recipe for growth. A marketplace like eBay has different needs than a social network like Facebook, than does a restaurant chain or a professional services firm or an e-commerce company like Amazon. We call these essential elements of growth your ‘growth levers’ which are the core inputs that determine your growth. For Amazon, their growth levers include things such as the number of product categories and products within each category they carry, combined with the conversion rate of their online shopping cart and the number of people who find in the first place. Once you’ve identified your growth levers, you’ll have a better understanding of where to place your growth bets for best results.

Testing at High Tempo

The Growth Team, with the growth levers identified, will set off on a high-tempo experimentation process to discover what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to moving the needle for your business. Using unbridled ideation to find new and novel approaches to growth, to a formal process for vetting and ranking ideas to try, to an experimentation framework that focuses on high impact tests, the growth team will find wins both big and small while running laps around your competition in the process. The entire process is fed by insights from data gathering and analysis the provide the rigor needed to ensure that the effort to grow is being exerted in the right place at the right time.

Hacking the Funnel

Growth doesn’t just come from new customer acquisition, but so often companies spend all their time and energy there that they leave growth and money on the table by ignoring other parts of their business. In Hacking Growth you’ll learn why the fastest growing companies focus on retention and revenue optimization first and new customer acquisition second. Plus you’ll get dozens of new ideas for finding growth in all parts of the customer lifecycle, whether it’s how to pick a new customer acquisition channel to test or when and how to change pricing or how to decide if viral marketing is right for you. Hacking Growth helps you find wins wherever they might exist in your business and shows you how to apply the growth hacking process to finding the winners faster than your competition.

The Growth Hacking Process

Discover the step-by-step growth hacking process used by companies like Facebook, AirBnB, LinkedIn and more that allow them to find new growth wins predictably and faster than anyone else. From building growth hypotheses, to prioritizing the most promising growth experiments, to rapidly testing ideas to find winners and analyzing the results to continually improve performance, you’ll get everything you need to unlock new growth for your business.


Discover promising new growth opportunities through qualitative and quantitative data dives.


Test your experiments to see which ones produce the biggest growth wins.


Generate hypotheses for growth experiments that are likely to move the needle.


Determine which experiments to pursue with a rigorous prioritization process.

About the authors

Sean Ellis

Sean Ellis

Sean Ellis is Founder and CEO of GrowthHackers, the platform where teams manage their growth experiments. The platform also integrates into our community of 150,000 growth professionals (marketers, PMs, designers, growth engineers). Sean was previously Founder and CEO of Qualaroo, building it into the leading voice of customer solution for websites with customers such as Uber, Starbucks, Spotify and Intuit. It was a profitable SaaS business when it was acquired in 2016. Sean coined the term “growth hacker” in 2010, and he has been one of the leaders in the development of the method. As their first marketing executive, he laid the foundation to grow five companies (Uproar, LogMeIn, Lookout, Eventbrite, and Dropbox) to more than $1 billion valuations while taking two companies, Uproar and LogMeIn from idea to public offering.

Morgan Brown

Morgan Brown is a startup marketing veteran with more than 15 years helping early stage companies find traction and breakout growth. With his MBA from the startup school of hard knocks, and a passion for uncovering what makes some companies grow and others fizzle, Morgan puts his expertise in digital marketing to work for businesses of all kinds. Morgan grew up in Avon, Connecticut and had a fascination both with computers, his first a Tandy TRS-80 when he was 8, and marine life, which led him to UC-Santa Barbara to study Zoology. With the rise of the Internet, computers won out when Morgan took his first job at a startup in 1999, from there he worked at a digital marketing agency, honing his marketing skills on key accounts, and then moving to the startup world again to grow venture backed startups such as TurnHere and ScoreBig. Morgan writes regularly at and Twitter at

Morgan Brown

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Why Get the Book?

Your business needs to be growing. And Hacking Growth is your definitive playbook to get the results you need. From organizing your team for faster learning and collaboration, to prioritizing and experimenting with the best growth ideas, to rapidly testing and implementing what works, this book shows you exactly how to turn your business into a high growth machine.

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Hacking Growth

A private group for early fans of Hacking Growth, the new book by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown from Crown Business. Learn more at
Daniel Gold
Daniel Gold14 hours ago
Hey team,
Just had a wordpress marketing related question. Using Yoast and the title tag that has been set is not seen in all search results. Here is the examples where you can see what was added in Yoast and the way it appears in some search results. However, The meta description is present everywhere. Love you xoxo for your help.
Daniel Peron
Daniel Peron5 days ago
[Case study] How TheHustle has grown from 0 to 300k subs (and beyond) in a few months by setting up an Ambassador Program

This case study is for you if:

- you have a newsletter or an email list
- you’d like to grow it from inside i.e. leveraging your current subscribers to share it and spread the word out for you
- you don’t have an Ambassador/Referral Program yet but you are interested in knowing how others have set theirs up and are having their brand marketed and shared by their subscribers

This is how TheHustle is doing it (Disclaimer: I work at Maître, the growth tool that theHustle is using to run their Ambassador Program and I have access to their stats - and their permission to share their numbers with you).

You know TheHustle, the millennial-focus business newsletter right?

You should as it’s grown from zero subs to millions of subs over the course of a few years.

They were able to get where they are because:

- they kick ass and publish daily newsletter that goes to the point while being entertaining
- they incentivize their subscribers to share it with their peers by having an “Ambassador Program” that track how many new subs they are driving and reward them accordingly

You can see it in action here:

This is how it works:

- a new ambassador signs up and he’s prompted to share the personal referral link through email and social media
- the Ambassador Program tracks how many new subscribers sign up through that unique
- the ambassador is rewarded based on how many new referrals he sends

These are the rewards theHustle offers, depending on the number of referrals:

- laptop stickers
- hand-screened t-shirts
- ispirational socks for the true hustler
- hustler hats
- hustler hoodies
- free theHustle Events for life

If you don’t have an Ambassador Program, if you are not asking your subscribers to share your message and you are not rewarding them for the bother, you’re leaving growth potential on the table.

Sure, you’ll still have to drive traffic on your front-end but your efforts will be backed by your users turned ambassadors who will drive traffic on their own and lower your acquisition costs.

Peace :)
Tzvika Avnery
Tzvika Avnery2 weeks ago
Hi guys, decided to share all my GH secret Chrome extensions stash with you :) I think you will dig it - enjoy!
🔥 71 Growth hacking chrome extensions you totally want to checkout

Vitor Ferreira
Vitor Ferreira2 months ago
Hey, guys...

I want to discuss something that I find so confusing for most people here.

It's simple: how to work with a marketing team and a growth team together?

Who owns the strategy? How to run growth strategies without a great marketing process and proven channels?
Yesim Saydan
Yesim Saydan2 months ago
Now that's what I call clear messaging! Masterpiece by FCB Chicago.
Who do you admire? Share a piece of work by them or name their book so we can all share the gold!


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