That’s interesting. The old way of marketing, which still exists in many forms, is to spend money talking about the product. But technology has changed things. Not only has it changed how traditional marketing is done, it’s enabled an entirely different type of marketing: growth hacking.
A lot of community professionals are turned off by the term “growth hacking,” but Polyvore CEO Jess Lee believes we’ve got it wrong. Growth hacking is not really about finding sneaky ways around problems or finding short-term solutions.
7 years ago, when Facebook and Twitter were just getting started, the primary magic trick to high growth rates involved creating a product that connected people to people and people to content.
Andreessen Horowitz-backed music lyrics and annotations Rap Genius was the latest to stray over to the darker side of so-called “growth hacking,” with its spammy SEO tactics disguised as an affiliate program. Called out, exposed and now punished by Google, the site’s traffic has tanked.
Editor’s note: Justin Caldbeck is a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and invests primarily in the Internet and mobile sectors with a focus on social media, e-commerce and enterprise software. Follow him on Twitter @caldbeckj.
Editor’s note: Dan Kaplan helps startups tell their stories. He’s done marketing for Twilio, Asana, and Salesforce and blogs about marketing, growth, and storytelling at Threadling. Imagine you’re a 17-year-old girl at a well-to-do high school in Los Angeles and you just discovered Snapchat.