"You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for a buck fifty in late charges at the public library.”
- Will Hunting (Good Will Hunting)
Just three years after launch, Clash of Clans was raking in over $15M. Per day. They got there by building an engaging product and then acquiring users at a frenetic pace. They’re a classic case study in building strong consumer growth strategies.
But while everyone’s heard of Clash of Clans, what do you know about Palantir? A data analysis company, Palantir quietly grew over 11 years to a $15B valuation in 2015, but has largely stayed out of the public eye.
Both of these companies hold powerful lessons for anyone aiming to build and grow sustainable companies.
Join the journey on Buck-Fifty MBA, as we learn from other people's experiences to become more skillful builders ourselves.
June 2020: Two years ago on a long plane ride, I wrote these notes for myself and my friends. Sharing here with some light updating for anyone else who finds it useful.
This is a living document summarizing some of the practices I’ve personally found to enable (1) peaceful / calm work practices that are (2) effective at accomplishing difficult projects which (3) have measurable, positive impact on myself, my team, and my customers.
“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”
That’s probably what Fidelity and Vanguard are trying to tell their customers right now after nearly every other brokerage cut trading commissions to zero in an attempt to choke out Robinhood.
But this is also a popular refrain for those disparaging advertising-based business models in favor of the ever-popular SaaS that VCs dream about. We’ll leave that discussion for another day, but suffice to say it’s easy to “be willing to pay” when you’re in the top 1% of global income.
Gary Vaynerchuk gets 2k to 60k views when he publishes an article on LinkedIn. But what about the rest of us? Is LinkedIn content marketing an option for those of us who aren’t already social media celebrities? Enter Louis Profeta. This ER doctor isn’t a household name. He’s got less than 200 followers on Twitter, and in 2010 he published a book that currently ranks #210,312 on Amazon. And yet, Profeta’s LinkedIn articles have collectively been read more than 3 million times.
Just over three years old, Clash of Clans rakes in more than $5M 1 2 3 each day and consistently charts in the top three grossing apps4. It’s the app that new game developers look to for inspiration.
However, the future didn’t always look so bright for the game’s creator, Supercell. In mid-2011 the year-old company realized their web- and Facebook-first strategy would never generate the hit game they needed 5 (this was late in the Facebook game fad), so they quickly shifted to a tablet-first strategy and killed all their old games6.
Marketing’s not a technical field, right?
Think again. As growth hacking has proven repeatedly over the last few years, a data-driven approach to marketing achieves stronger, more reliable results than traditional marketing.
The mad men of the future will combine creativity with rigorous analysis. (tweet this)
Despite a plethora of outstanding tools that handle much of the analysis, the best marketers will understand enough statistics to explore deeper insights from Google Analytics, enough SQL to access product usage logs without waiting for IT to build a special interface, and enough programming to effectively communicate requests to engineering.