“How does growth hacking work and where should I get started?“
A number of different people of all levels of experience in digital product development (CEO, Founder, Product Owners, … ) have asked me this question recently.
I asked the exact same question years ago to a friend when I was working on my first product. I was desperate to get more users and get them converting to paid accounts. She asked me a few simple questions. The answers should have been really obvious but this changed my outlook on product.
“Who is your customer, what are they trying to do and how do they do this today?”
From the projects that we have worked on at Massive Rocket, we seem to generally go through 4 key phases when developing digital products:
- Concept: Problem Fit
- Prototype: Solution Fit
- Customer Beta: Market Fit
- Growth: Acceleration
You should only really be concerned about Growth after your Customer Beta has hit product market fit (I will cover this in a future post). You should only worry about building a Prototype once you have locked down your Concept.
Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) | Locking down your Concept
Today’s blog will cover the concept phase which is really the first stage of growth. In order to come up with a solid concept for a digital product, we have been working with our own version of the Jobs To Be Done framework. This Framework is very lightweight and can be deployed at any stage of a product’s lifecycle. The companies who start doing this from day one are the ones that will have an advantage over all others.
The idea behind the Jobs to Be Done framework, was first proposed by Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School. It was then quickly adopted by the design and product development worlds. The heart of Christensen’s initial theory is this:
Your users aren’t just buying products, they’re “hiring” them to get a job done.
What does this look like in practice?
- Understand who your customer is
- List our their needs and pain points
- Prioritise these based on their impact to your customer and currently available solutions.
There are many different ways and theories about how to actually implement the JTBD framework but at it’s simplest form, there are 3 key steps you want to look at:
Below is a short story to illustrate how to use the concepts in the video to prioritise a roadmap or decide what to build.
Gemma (Startup Founder) met her best friend Sally (Digital Product Owner) to pitch her on a new started idea that she wanted Sally to work on with her. Gemma wanted Sally’s opinion because Sally has been working as a Product owner in Growth teams for the last 10 years.
Gemma – “We are building a catapult! Join the team, it’s going to be really cool!”
Sally – “Nice, Who is this for? Why are you building this? What are you trying to do?”
Gemma – “It’s for factories to get products that they manufacture from the factory to a warehouse on the other side of this valley so that they can sell them. It will also allow them to throw garbage away quickly into bins that are the other side of the building. The second part is a bit less important because they can already do that but it’s still pretty cool!”
Sally scribbles on a napkin for a few minutes and then asks… “Interesting… So your target customers (factories) are all in this area. The most important thing that they are trying to do at the moment is get products that they manufacture from the factory to a warehouse on the other side of this valley so that they can sell them?”
Gemma – “Yes, that right!! So we thought a Catapult would be an awesome solution!”
Sally shows the paper she was scribbling on and it contains a tiny graph.
Sally – “I would love to work with you and your team. I think the problem you are trying to solve is exciting! But I have 3 conditions…
1) We should focus on the transport problem. The Garbage disposal issue is solved already.
2) I think we should build a Bridge instead! If we focus on the core problem we are trying to solve, the Catapult is the wrong solution. It will damage the goods, be inefficient and there are already a lot of competitors that do the same thing.
3) I think we need to test the solution today and see if people use it before building it. “
They shook hands and got started on phase 2 of growth: building a Prototype. Now that we have identified and validated the problem, time to do the same with our solution.