VC Chamath Palihapitiya Says He's Cracked the Growth Code - Liz Gannes
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Growth Hacks!
Liz Gannes gets Chamath to brag about his growth hacking prowess:
And not only does Palihapitiya want to brag about his own team, he wants to trash other people’s.
“This is going to come off a little cocky, but all this ‘growth hacking’ stuff is a bunch of bullshit,” Palihapitiya said in an interview this week. “I do think there are a handful of folks who are good practitioners of understanding value in product, probably 10 to 15 of them in the world. Everyone else is a spammer.”
The Social+Capital growth team started working with Remind101 in June 2013. It’s odd that the axes aren’t labeled in this chart, because the company disclosed them for the story.
Palihapitiya wants growth to be the main attraction of taking money from his firm. So he’s starting to put together case studies from fledgling companies like the texting-for-teachers startup Remind101, which now has 10 million users, up from 1.6 million last year. Teachers, students and now parents send 65 million messages per month using Remind101, up from 15 million last year.
Of course, Palihapitiya wants to get credit for cracking the code without sharing his answer key.
“It’s not just top-line growth,” he said. “It’s acquisition, engagement, ongoing product value. It’s understanding the core value and convincing people that may not want to use it.”
Growth is the main reason to take money from his firm? That's rich.
The key to growth is making a product that engages users with ongoing product value?
That's not advice; it's tautology.
Liz Gannes asks, isn’t it possible that Remind101 was just a good product that started naturally finding users?
“It’s hard to figure out what stuff is causative and what is correlative,” Palihapitiya admitted. “But most companies are working on something that’s interesting and good. If we decide this is something that should go to the masses, we think there’s a framework we can use.”
Okay, but surely this can’t be a formula with a guarantee. How does Social+Capital explain its investments that have failed to grow?
“Some companies that we invested in sucked,” Palihapitiya said. “We were wrong about the market, wrong about the people. But in cases where we were kind of right, then we’ll be really right.”
So what you're saying is there is no correlation between your framework and successful growth.
And also, you're so bad at picking companies that you choose bad markets AND bad people.
Way to look like zero value add there, Chamath.