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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.

Rekrytering February 4, 2013

5 reasons why startups fail

80-90% of all technology startups never reach their initial vision to become a large international growth company. Since I started STING 2002, I have seen more than 100 startups pass through our Business Accelerator. Some have already become international companies and some are on their way. But I have also seen several of our startups fail. There is, of course, not one single explanation, but I can definitely see a pattern among those who fail, and I would like to share these observations with you.

The most common reason for failure has to do with the team. For instance, if the founders and key players do not share the same vision of where they want to be in 5-10 years, they will sooner or later enter into a frustrating conflict on that topic. The result is often loss of time or worse; the company is closed down.

Teams with a shared vision of their roles, and of the company’s goal and strategy, have a much higher success rate. And it’s clear that those who do not very early develop a well-thought-out shareholders agreement tend to run into conflicts later on.

A startup’s success is also related to the energy and ambition of the founders. To build a large international growth company, the key persons must be willing to work extremely hard without much payment for many years and move to other countries. Having that kind of drive and international ambition is necessary.

What about the team competence? It is not required that the founders have all the required top skills between themselves – BUT, they must have the ability, the will and the magnetic power to attract those top people to the team. And startups who succeed often recruit individuals that are overqualified at the time of hiring, because they’re planning and preparing for the time when the company will grow into a larger organization.

Another observation relates to all industries having their specific rules and business logic. Teams who don’t understand this early enough and wait to bring on board people with relevant industry know how, tend to have a much longer way to market. Therefore, they are often out paced by other teams that do have the relevant industry know how, especially within sales and marketing.

My final observation is that startups that do not care about creating a strong, dynamic corporate culture and reinforcing the company’s vision and goal, have a much lower chance of succeeding. As always, it is all about people!