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Insights April 24, 2018

The Growth Hacking Gap

We recently surveyed 20 growing tech startups within our ecosystem on the growing business needs and we found the following skills along with their demand and availability:

This image shows the frequency of companies looking for the various skills (blue) and how many candidates who say they have the various skills (red). In short, this is the supply and demand for skill in the startup job market (for non-technical positions).

For every 2.5 jobs looking for Growth Hackers, there’s only 1 person in the market with that skill.

Does this mean there’s a gap?

Now when we analyze these skill gaps, most of the time we rely on the tags. How many people tag themselves with “marketing” and how many with “Growth Hacking”?

And we see that only,

50 635 persons have the keywords “Growth Hacking” in their profile and a whooping

43 830 036 persons have Marketing.

However, while marketing is hugely more common as a term than growth hacking, we’d like to highlight the growing trend for the term.

Look at the Google search trend for instance:

Note: Important to mention here is the scale in the two graphs. The total search volume is still way higher for marketing than growth hacking. But the searches are growing for growth hacking but not for marketing.

May be it’s just the term Growth Hacking

Candidates and companies do not necessarily use the same language. The jargons can vary widely and may be most modern digital marketing professionals are analytical, metric-driven, experimentative and sprint-oriented. But not all of them, call themselves “Growth Hackers”.

One reason that marketers might not use this term often is because of a certain bad reputation for “quick hacks to gain big unsustainably big user base”. Especially combined with a low retention. Another reason is that the growth hacking term is kind of ambiguous and debated.

OR if you’re not actively seeking a job, there’s not much motivation to update LinkedIn profiles with new keywords. Instead, there might be a period where the person learns new things but don’t communicate it. Job ads from companies are different. They are always fresh and updated, so they show the demands quicker.

But then what is this growth hacking anyways? Wikipedia reads,

“growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business”.

In an ideal world, isn’t every marketing person trying out new ideas? Pushing the marketing funnel? And constantly trying effective way to grow a business?

We’d like to think that and that’s why we’re inviting all growth hackers and marketers to come and meet our Startups who’re looking for you.

2 hours — 17 startups — 35+ Marketing & Growth positions

In 2 hours, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with 17 startup founders who’re expanding their teams in marketing/growth/sales areas. We call this event Join a Startup and it’s a selection-only event. So please apply asap. Deadline for registration is today.

Apply by clicking here.

Insights March 6, 2013

Find your entrepreneurial sea legs faster

Building a successful startup rarely is plain sailing. In fact, almost all startups have to weather not one but quite a few storms on their path to whatever they define as success. Out of them, only a very small percentage actually make it. Is this low number somehow determined by an invisible law or can we actually do something about it? I do believe in the latter!

First, I think that the world needs innovation more than ever and that we need many more successful startups to drive this change. The incumbents will never drive change fast enough. This means that the odds for startups are in fact improving all by themselves.

Second, we can also actively increase the odds for success. There are so many unnecessary mistakes and unforced errors made by startup entrepreneurs that could be avoided.  Why do you think the VCs prefer a serial entrepreneur anytime to a first timer?

As an entrepreneur I’m coaching said, “There are a thousand pit falls before you even get to buy a ticket in the lottery.” Cynical? Yes, maybe a little, but unfortunately there is quite some truth to it.

When you are first-time entrepreneur, venturing a startup is like crossing the Stockholm archipelago (22 thousand islands and countless shallows) without any navigational tools whatsoever, or, if you are getting tired of my marine analogies, it is like playing BRIO Labyrinth – the wooden maze game – blindfolded. It doesn’t need to be like that, however.

So how can you find your sea legs faster? Where can you get hold of the navigation equipment? How can you, as a first timer, act as a serial entrepreneur from day one?

  1. Bring in an experienced navigating officer. Find someone who has done it before. Make him or her join the team. It is worth the skin in the game you have to give them. This person does not necessarily need to be full time, be involved in operations, or do the legwork. The important contribution is startup experience. It could be a business angel. It could mean joining a business incubator or accelerator.
  2. Get a sonar, a radar, and a GPS. Understand everything about your customers’ desires. Build measure, learn. Buy the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Read it carefully. Many buy the book, some read it, but very few understand the beauty of it.
  3. Use a pilot whenever necessary. This person could e.g. be someone who knows your target customer by heart and knows how to navigate through the intricacies of the industry logic of your target market. This will save you tons of mistakes. But be careful though, make sure that the person understands the difference between the startup approach and a launch made by an established player and brand.
  4. Sail, sail, sail. Most important, though, get out of the building as Steven Blank puts it. And get into the boat! Get out there and sail the rough waters and find you sea legs. You will never become a seasoned entrepreneur unless you leave the drawing board and your ppt-plans behind.