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Growth Hacking in the Early Days of BuySellAds

Todd Garland
August 15, 2013

Growth Hacking in the Early Days of BuySellAds

Presentation I did for the Boston Growth Hacker Group August 15th, 2013, talking about some of the things we did in the early days of BuySellAds to facilitate growth. Includes my 4 pillars of a successful product launch:

1. Grunt work that won't scale
2. Some part of your product need to scale (easily)
3. Another piece needs to be naturally viral
4. A forced feedback loop should be built in to the product

Todd Garland

August 15, 2013
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Transcript

  1. Hacking Growth
    in the early days of BuySellAds

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  2. We make buying and selling ads WICKED easy

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  3. 5 YEARS
    $50 MILLION
    SELF-FUNDED
    Some context...

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  4. February 2007
    Came up with idea
    September 2007
    Finished Version 1
    Started at HubSpot
    Full-time
    February 2008
    Launched BuySellAds
    January 2009
    BSA full-time
    2 years, concept to real working product, replacing my full-time salary
    (with a 6 month hiatus)
    General Timeline

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  5. Growth hacking...
    Startups...
    // BLAH BLAH BLAH

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  6. MAKE STUFF
    THAT PEOPLE
    WANT!

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  7. BSA - the early days

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  8. One piece of whatever it is
    you’re doing is going to be
    GRUNT WORK

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  9. Hi David,
    I noticed you have a bunch of sponsors in the sidebar. I’d love to help make it easier for you
    to manage those, and also bring you some new advertisers.
    We’re still in private beta, but the product is solid, and working really well for
    logopond.com, csselite.com, and 13styles.com. I’d love to add you to the list.
    If you’re interested to see what inside, here’s an invitation code:
    http://buysellads.com/register/?invite=HKSius98S98
    If you have questions or if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.
    Cheers,
    Todd

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  10. This link is fake:
    Any value for invite= would
    allow you to register
    http://buysellads.com/register/?invite=HKSius98S98
    :)

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  11. Didn’t waste time building features
    that were easily faked.
    Takeaway #1:

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  12. Takeaway #2
    Used exclusivity/privileged terminology
    (i.e. “private beta”) for over a year,
    using the fake invite system.
    (I’m not sure how well works today...)

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  13. Grunt Work
    - Every email was personal
    - Every email was unique
    - Every email was super-targeted

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  14. Another piece of whatever it is you’re doing
    needs to scale

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  15. One piece needs to be
    naturally viral

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  16. The final piece:
    Feedback Loop

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  17. “To cancel your ads, please send an
    email to [email protected] with
    the subject of ‘Cancellation Request’”
    Totally doesn’t scale

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  18. “If you would like to withdraw your
    funds, please send an email to
    [email protected] with the
    subject of ‘Cashout’”
    Totally doesn’t scale

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  19. Many things you do won’t scale,
    and that’s OK.
    Scale is secondary.
    Things that don’t scale help
    build your feedback loop.

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  20. Recap #1: ‘Lil bit of grunt work each day keeps
    the deadpool away
    #2: Something you’re doing better scale
    #3: Some piece of your puzzle
    should be naturally viral
    #4: Create a feedback loop, and it
    probably won’t scale (which is OK)

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  21. OH, I ALMOST
    FORGOT
    There’s a #5...

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  22. NOBODY CARES!
    The only real advice you need about doing anything in life

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  23. Build Build Build
    Ship Ship Ship

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  24. do stuff
    that makes you happy
    ... and then do it again

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