We learned afterwards that he had suffered a cardiac arrest. All we knew at the time was that we had a patient not breathing, with no pulse, and and a large crowd of anxious onlookers, one of whom was his wife.
We must have practiced CPR hundreds of times, but this time it was for real. Someone’s life depended upon it, literally. It wasn’t beautiful, looking back afterwards I realise that we didn’t follow the book. Something else was different too. There was no inspector watching us giving feedback, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. In a less dramatic way, I see Growth Hacking as the same.
Growth Hacking is “all about finding scalable, repeatable and sustainable ways to grow your business” to quote Kelly Tagalan – City Manager, Sydney, Elance-oDesk. It’s very popular in the digital business start-up community apparently. Last night I joined their session at Fishburners a co-working hub for Sydney’s Silicon Beach start-up community. The expert panel of Jason Allan, Ryan Wardell and Aaron Beashel provided some great perspectives. I learned that ‘Growth Hacking’ basically doing anything and everything possible to grow your business at minimum cost – a sort of digital version of ‘Duct Tape Marketing’.
If these magicians can conjure up massive growth in the start-up community they serve, can these same principles be applied to corporate Australia I wondered? My sad conclusion is – no. Growth Hacking is edgy, it risks brand damage, it comes with no guarantees and it doesn’t follow the book. Corporates would love the potential results, but could not accept the associated risks, and I absolutely agree with them. But let’s not entirely throw the idea away.
There is infinitely positive and optimistic energy to great Growth Hackers. They succeed despite the hurdles, and must have a ‘never ever give up’ gene in their DNA. I have never met a group so proud of their own failures – not due to the lack of success, but because of their ability to learn and move on strengthened from the experience. And they have a relentless focus on understanding their customers and how to add further value. Now corporate Australia how about a dose of that?!
And our patient? The defibrillator re-started their heart, and after a period in hospital they went on to make a full recovery. It just shows you don’t always need to follow the book to get a totally awesome result.
Image on this post courtesy of Venturesity.