Growth Hacking November Newsletter

This is our growth hacking November newsletter which we have copied in full below. Its our second newsletter! If you like it, please subscribe to my growth hacking email newsletter in the form below.

Growth Hacking November Newsletter

Growth hacking is a mentality rather than a toolset. Of course I have my favourite tools that I use, but I prefer to think of it as state of mind. Its the fusion of product + distribution.

There was a very revealing article this week in The Verge on the impending failure of Everpix, a photo startup. They had the best product, best algorithms, best team and the best investors. Heck, the founders had previously invented software which got bought by Apple! This software would become a key part of OSX and iTunes. The Everpix had raised $1.8m in venture capital funding and decided to focus solely on the product. They had stellar numbers but ignored GROWTH. Renowned growth hacker Andrew Chen had a great post-mortem analysis on why they failed.

Also, I would like to invite you to a new course that may be of interest, Making Effective Prototypes, on 27 November, 6-9 PM at General Assembly. This is most suited for entrepreneurs and non-technical people to get acquainted with, and fully benefit from, prototyping and wireframing.

Hacking Design

One of the biggest problems we faced at Native Tongue as a startup was design. We didn’t have any in-house designers. We had some freelance designers through connections and from recruiting on Deviant Art that designed our language game apps.

Everyone will tell you that the ideal team is hacker + hustler + hipster. The hipster is the designer. For many startups, particularly where there are two technical founders, usually one of the missing elements is design. We got by as we had freelancers we could use but it did slow us down by not having a designer. When we started the consulting business and started to get more projects coming in, we needed more design resources. We hired a designer, but we also did another critical thing – we started using 99designs. We had already used 99designs for crowdsourcing our logo and website, so we were familiar with using it. In addition, my business partner had used it numerous times in the past.

Hacking Design

We decided to use a combination of our designers plus 99designs platform to get more designs concepts and help us move faster. On 99designs, I have access to thousands of designers. When I put out a brief I can have anywhere between 30 – 50 designers that contribute to the design brief. We combine this with our design thinking and capabilities, UX, development and we achieve great results.

In short, we have hacked the design process

I wrote an article about this for Tech In Asia on how startups can boost their productivity by using crowdsourced design. This article was also syndicated on Yahoo Philippines and Yahoo Singapore. You can also watch my Youtube video where I describe it in more detail. I filmed it while on holiday so I hope you enjoy the change of scenery in the background!

As you can see, the hacking mindset can be applied to other parts of your business – not just distribution. Its about doing things in non-conventional ways to get it done faster and more effectively. We have a lot of experience using 99designs and we often manage briefs for our clients for mobile app design. If you are interested, please drop me a line and I can show you some of the designs we have done.

New Prototyping Course

Course on Making Prototypes 27 November General Assemby

Much like growth hacking, I believe that prototyping is also a mindset. There are lots of tools out there – but knowing how to use them is what makes you effective. You can use any tool if you understand how to prototype and know what you are doing.

I’m teaching a new course at General Assembly where I cover prototyping, wireframing, user stories. It will also be hands-on as I will demonstrate some of my favourite tools that I use. I’d love for you to come along and to share it with anyone that you think might be interested. Its for 3 hours and its normally $70 AUD. Use the discount code GA_fam for a 20% discount to get the course for $56. You can enrol here. If you any questions about the course, just hit reply.

Matthew Ho
Native Tongue

p.s. I’ll be online for the next few hours to answer your questions. Just reply below!

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