Sean Ellis is a Polaris Repeat Entrepreneur who I’ve had good fortune to work closely with as investor partner and BoD member over the last 15 years.
I first got to know Sean during his integral role in the explosive success of LogMeIn (NASDAQ: LOGM), where I was an early investor & BoD member. More recently, we’ve worked together in his current journey as co-Founder & CEO of GrowthHackers.com.
He’s an incredibly-creative & visionary marketing talent.
A breakout, out-of-box thinker & entrepreneur.
Together with LogMeIn co-Founder and ex-CEO Mike Simon, Sean pioneered the freemium concepts of product distribution, tiered service delivery and account expansion.
Freemium became a movement during the dawn of IT consumerization a decade ago.
It completely transformed SaaS product, marketing and sales thought, strategy and action.
It fundamentally changed organizational design for progressive SaaS & online businesses. For startups and industry incumbents alike.
Freemium broke down the functional silos of product development, marketing, finance and sales. It drove daily cross-team collaboration and iteration to achieve measureable demand generation, high-velocity sales & customer lifecycle relationships.
Leveraging elegantly-simple usability which combined quick time-to-value with usage instrumentation — freemium was to growth what agile development was to engineering.
What MVP lean methodology was to market launch.
Sean’s passion for experimentation, innovation and integrating analytics as a key weapon in the marketing arsenal led him to great success after LogMeIn as a consultant.
He went on to build the growth engines Dropbox, Eventbrite and Lookout. Work that led to the aggregation of over a billion users.
Fast-forwarding to the last half-decade, Sean has been the Pied Piper for the next generation of marketers.
He coined the term — and more importantly — provided thought and practice leadership for Growth Hacking.
Using out-of-box thinking, experimental testing rigor and actionable analytics to drive breakout growth success.
His “40% test” — would 40% of your customers be very disappointed if your product were to disappear?– is every bit the gold standard stat for product marketers that On Base Percentage is for baseball hitters.
Sean’s all-encompassing vision and passion about this latest movement — the growth movement – led to his founding of GrowthHackers.com.
Dedicated to the next-generation of non-siloed performance marketers, UX & product leaders, GrowthHackers.com‘s mission has been to productize his knowledge of optimizing product services & instrumenting growth models.
Guiding the emerging tidal wave of high-velocity growth teams.
Creating “Growth Masters”.
Already the world’s largest community for growth professionals, GrowthHackers.com has 1.8M users, climbing steeply each week, providing both software & services to help companies large and small transform into agile growth organizations.
Having worked with his co-author Morgan Brown at GrowthHackers, they’ve now collaborated on the new book, Hacking Growth, released earlier this week.
With Hacking Growth, Sean and Morgan take their place with Seth Godin, Eric Ries, Steve Blanks, Chris Anderson, Daniel Kahneman and Geoffrey Moore on the top shelf of the Required Reading List for any entrepreneur.
Certainly those aiming to build breakout online growth engines.
Sean and Morgan deliver an experienced-based guidebook towards hacking acquisition, activation, retention and ultimately, monetization to build for extreme growth.
Hacking Growth covers the key elements of how to build, operationalize, instrument, measure and define what success looks like in a state-of-the-art growth marketing function.
It defines a “Growth Project” as a continuous cycle for teams & their Growth Masters. It outlines the process of North Star metrics and objectives by which to guide the Project from idea, through testing, execution, analysis — and back again through idea refinement.
The book delivers a primer and a blueprint for success for not just the next generation of growth practitioners, but also for founders and executives who lead them.
Like GrowthHackers.com itself, Hacking Growth uses syndicated content and practical examples to illustrate key points of practical learning, grounded by — yes — actual experience. Sean and Morgan supply schematic-like methodologies for measuring and prioritizing growth projects.
Done right, Growth Hacking rigor aligns cross-functional teams, breaks down functional silos and incorporates A/B testing disciplines to triage and refine growth projects in real-time.
Many have co-opted the term’s brand. But it’s a simple fact that few, if any, have the level of practical experience and success of Sean & Morgan.
Growth Hacking has proven to be a transcendent marketing innovation.
Hacking Growth has the chops to be both primer & playbook to that next generation of marketing.