You’re receiving this email because you signed up for my personal newsletter about customer research, product design, and personal growth.
Last week I shared what I’m working on in 2020. Today I wanted to talk about why.
In my senior year of college, I was fortunate enough to land an internship at a startup accelerator as a "growth hacker" in training. I joined a young team learning the ropes of digital marketing by running experiments using Facebook ads and the on-demand screen printing site Teespring.
This was in the heyday of “growth hacking”. A/B testing button colors, creating landing pages with as little text as possible and pithy subject lines all focused on improving quantitative metrics.
In 2016, though, one night changed the entire way I viewed my career. At the Intercom World Tour event in Boston, then-Director of Growth Ben McRedmond shared what at the time was counter to the popular definition of growth.
“Growth should be a function of helping customers make progress in their lives.”
I still think about that quote, years later. It’s become the driving force behind my business and why I’m focused on helping founders gain a deeper understanding of their customers and ultimately create experiences that make them more successful.
“companies succeed by aligning their definition of product success with their customer’s idea of progress”.
Openview partner Blake Barlett describes the current software ecosystem as the End User Era where individuals drive decisions and the product leads go-to-market.
Increasing customer acquisition costs (more than 50% in the last five years) and greater commoditization of software has helped Product-Led Growth become the “hot” go-to-market strategy that allows teams to leverage their product as a mechanism for qualifying and converting customers. But does adopting a product-led approach really mean putting all our emphasis on the product as the name suggests
As my friend Kristen LaFrance put it...
“How is that some new novel idea? Your product should be good enough people want it? WHAT?!”
What if instead of putting the product on a pedestal we chose to put a deep understanding of the customer at the center of our strategy.
Read the full story here
I’d love to hear what you think of this post, are you interested in adopting a customer-led approach in your own business?
Hit “reply” and let me know. I’ll be back next week to announce my new web app challenge.
PS. Know someone who’d find this newsletter valuable? Please share it on Twitter or LinkedIn or point them to stuartbalcombe.com/newsletter to sign up.
3 resources I found helpful this week:
Inspire, Not Instruct: How We Do User Onboarding at Userlist. Founder Jane Portman explains the principles driving the personal onboarding approach the Userlist team is using to turn new signups into delighted customers.
Customer KPIs vs Business Metrics. An amazing rant from Forget the Funnel founder Gia Laudi about why you're likely measuring the wrong things, and what you should do instead.
How David Sacks built the first bottom-up playbook for enterprise. Brianne Kimmell explains how David Sacks embraced the consumerization of the enterprise to differentiate Yammer from the competition.