As a big tech growth team lead, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that a growth mindset can have on an organization’s success. I have thought more than I care to admit about the key principles and strategies that can help unlock sustainable growth - here they are:

small g and big G: growth is not Growth

  • Pick which g/G refers to what, then stick with it.
  • “growth” (small g) refers to the repeatable approach of optimizing the growth funnel: acquisition, churn resurrection, engagement, retention, and churn reduction.
  • “Growth” (big G) acts on the core value proposition and requires product-market fit.
  • It’s crucial for organizations to understand and prioritize both aspects, ensuring that “growth” efforts align with the overarching “Growth” strategy.

Hope is not a (good) growth strategy

  • Unfortunately just because it’s not a good strategy doesn’t stop people from using it
  • Relying on hope alone is a common pitfall that many organizations fall into, often leading to disappointment and wasted resources.
  • Successful growth requires a data-driven approach, clear goals, and a well-defined strategy backed by actionable plans and metrics.
  • While hope can provide motivation, it should not be the foundation of a growth strategy.

It’s all about the funnel funnel funnel

  • The growth funnel is a fundamental concept that governs the success of any product or service.
  • It’s math - it governs the world - please deal with it. I am not trying to throw shade at your product.
  • Small changes that impact a large audience at the top of the funnel can often yield better results than big changes targeting a smaller slice of traffic.
  • Organizations must prioritize and focus on the most critical stages of the funnel to maximize their growth efforts.

growth is launch and iterate

  • Ideal: 70% “core” / 30% opportunity
  • The 70/30 rule emphasizes the importance of focusing primarily on the core mission (70%) while leaving room for opportunistic initiatives (30%).
  • Launching quickly and iterating based on user feedback and data insights allows for faster learning and adaptation.
  • Being agile and open to pivoting when necessary is crucial in today’s fast-paced market.

Theory: Folks don’t understand how to think about growth until their neck is on the line for growth

  • People only truly grasp the importance of growth when they are directly accountable for it.
  • It highlights the need for organizations to align incentives and create a culture where everyone feels responsible for growth.
  • Encouraging a growth mindset across the organization can lead to more innovative ideas and collaborative efforts towards achieving growth targets.

Growth Portfolio management

  • Effective growth requires a balanced approach to resource allocation.
  • Prioritize and fund proven growth levers before exploring unknown or experimental initiatives to ensure more predictable and reliable growth.
  • Maintain a balance and allocate some resources to high-potential, innovative ideas that could become future growth drivers.

Embracing a growth mindset is essential for success in the big tech industry and beyond. By understanding the difference between “growth” and “Growth,” leveraging the power of the funnel, and adopting a balanced approach to resource allocation, organizations can unlock sustainable growth and stay ahead of the curve. Remember, growth is not just about tactics; it’s a mindset that requires continuous learning, experimentation, and adaptation.