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8 Growth Hacking Principles for (Near) Guaranteed Startup Success by@manish-tahiliani

8 Growth Hacking Principles for (Near) Guaranteed Startup Success

Manish Tahiliani HackerNoon profile picture

Manish Tahiliani

CEO @ | Growth Hacker | Digital Business Enthusiast

Are you someone who is about to launch your product/business to the market? Or someone who’s company’s growth is stuck?

A lot of entrepreneurs have high vision but are not growth experts. I am compiling my 13+ years of knowledge of working with 150+ companies.

Principle 1: Goal Based Approach

In a startup, the biggest mistake people make is to engage in arbitrary, ad-hoc and unplanned tasks. It kills the spirit of a company that is just starting up. In the absence of a razor beam approach, important tasks tend to get sidelined whereas the unimportant ones gain priority. But simply having a goal is not enough. They need to be divided into micro goals.

Principle 2: Experiment more - your company needs an escape velocity

Time is precious for any organisation that is just beginning to define itself. Just like an object needs a minimum speed to escape the gravitational influence of the earth and achieve an infinite distance from it, your company needs an escape velocity to get your business to a stable, scalable level. Startups and small businesses need to experiment fast to find the product-market fit. We will discuss  more about this topic later in this chapter.

This is not to say that all experiments will be successful. But delays in experiments lead to delays in success and failures. If an experiment goes unsuccessful, the trials should come to the fore quickly so that other methods can be experimented with. The more the number of trials, the more the probability of success.

Principle 3: Perfection equals Paralysis

Perfection paralysis often hinders success. If you are always engaged in overthinking about someone who is better than us, nitpicking or finding errors, then you are at the risk of being paralyzed by perfection. When you are growth hacking-oriented, experimentation is the key to move forward. Everything doesn't have to be perfect. They can be perfected gradually. **

A case in point is Photoshop, the photo, image and design editing software, that required a special set of skills to be worked upon but now, with the advent of Canva, everything is reasonably easy to use, accessible and can be done without requiring any specific skill-set. A lay man doesn't have to perfect their photoshop skills to know how to edit an image, photo or a design.

Principle 4: Single goal approach

Pick ONE metric that’s super important. It is essentially this specific metric that best captures the core value that your product delivers to customers. Taking a single-goal approach is key to driving long-term sustainable growth in your company. Identifying that one goal to focus upon can help you understand your customers and product better.

Principle 5: Data driven approach

People exist in the realm of subjective and so do their choices. But there are objective methods to find out what people are looking for. There are data-driven methods to find out what is trending and what is not. Ahref, Moz, Semrush are resources to grow your search traffic backed by data. It is, therefore, important for companies to adopt a ‘data-driven approach. Strategic decisions based on data analysis and data interpretation enables companies to organise their data with the goal of serving their customers better. **

With a data-based customer-centric approach, a company can personalize connections with its prospective and existing customers. Digital marketers  in small businesses and mushrooming startups have been more proactive in embracing lead-generation techniques to reach their audience in a more targeted and cost-efficient way. Growth hackers take this phenomena to the next level by focussing on social media and digital marketing opportunities.


For growth hackers, data analytics is the greatest resource. It is their key to refining their marketing strategy. Data-driven marketers are six times more likely to gain a competitive advantage by increasing dividends and five times more likely to boost customer retention.

Principle 6: Test and Improvise

It is important for companies to rethink, revise and transform their approach to growth. In startups, it is extremely crucial to find the right product-market fit. If experimentation is key, so is improvising.

The idea is to constantly carry out experiments, and test the waters. Your tests are geared towards achieving the appropriate product-market fit. Run tests. Experiment with the customer's journey with a methodical approach. Connect the Key Performance Indicators with the strategies employed. All experiments may not be a success but in the process you get to know what it is that you shouldn't do and improvise your product accordingly.

Principle 7: Minimum Viable Product

There is a big difference of approach when it comes to how companies want to achieve their goal versus how startups do it. The premise behind the concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is that you produce an actual product or service and offer them to the customers to gauge their actual behavior with the product or the service. The MVP stresses upon the impact of learning during a new product development. This version of a new product allows the collection of the maximum amount of validated information about users with the least amount of effort. This validated information comes in the form of whether your customers actually end up buying the product or service.

Gauging from what people actually do with respect to your product or service is more reliable information than asking people what they would do. You can gain an understanding about your customer’s interest in your product or service without fully developing it. The sooner you find out whether your product or service appeals to the customer base, the less effort and money is spent on the product or service that is unlikely to be successful in the market.

Principle 8: Mindset

Growth hacking is a mindset. It involves focusing all your efforts on achieving your goal. Whatever end product may be the goal, it is important to simply launch it as a minimum viable product. Over time, the product can be improvised and validated based on data and what consumers want. Focus on that one metric that matters to launch your product. Keep it measurable, straightforward and achievable, so you can let it guide how your team functions. As a growth hacker in charge of growth, all your activities should be geared towards achieving your North Star. Growth hackers think big, take risks and constantly pursue goals that go beyond their zone of comfort.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have specific questions, I will be happy to answer those!