Having recently learned about storyhacking, Startup Grind Fremont tackled the topic of growth hacking at our April event – no coding experience required! According to entrepreneur investor Rana Gujral, growth hacking is a series of fast-paced experiments using a variety of skills (marketing, product development, and sales), and conventional and unconventional methods, to achieve growth.

Gujral talked about his early experience with Cricut, an established brand in the DIY/crafting space. During his time at Cricut, Gujral took an old model of selling machines and cartridges, and transitioned the business to the cloud which now offers “all you can eat art” for a monthly fee. Later down the road, as co-founder and CEO of TiZE, Gujral learned to listen to his gut in order to find the right direction for his company to succeed.

Gujral outlined the following steps for finding success:

  1. First and foremost, exclusively pursue product/market fit;
  2. Only after you achieve the first step should you focus on scale;
  3. Finally, solve for the business math (acquisition, margins, etc.) If you can solve the math, then you have an exit.

Gujral sprinkled in many practical tips while answering the audience’s questions. Here are a few tidbits:

  • When cold calling, put your ego aside and use any excuse to call. Track who’s opening your emails, and then have a game plan to gain closure.
  • Maximize your presence at networking events, even if you have to resort to orange shoes or a neon tie!
  • An important growth hack is to establish ROI and then communicate it. ROI must be credible and measureable (no clichés!)
  • Understand who you are innovating for and what’s important to them.
  • Define what type of visionary you are – problem solver or incremental innovator? Don’t underestimate the latter, which requires improving cost, design, or experience.
  • Last but not least, track and measure everything. Every. Little. Thing.

In honor of Female Founders Month, we’ll be hearing from Ann Badillo, futurist and advisor to executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations, at our next Fremont Startup Grind event. She’ll be exploring new ideas involving narrative, movement, innovative cultures, economic development clusters, and capital formation. We’ll be convening at EFI (Electronics for Imaging) located at 6700 Dumbarton Circle, Fremont, CA 94555, on Wednesday, May 24 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

One of Ann’s recent projects includes a next generation entrepreneur and investor ecosystem for women that re-imagines the current incubator model and re-defines the founder-funder relationship. Here are some of the areas we’ll focus on in this interactive discussion:

  • How do you build an innovative culture at your startup?
  • What is your role as a leader of the company (at the beginning and over the next few years)?
  • Why do you need a narrative? What is the difference between story and narrative?

To attend, get your tickets here! Stay informed on future events by visiting www.startupgind.com/fremont or by following us on Twitter @FremontGrind and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StartupGrindFremont/.