Growth from User 0

with Morgan Brown

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Growth Mindset

How to get your head in the game

Morgan Brown

Growth Hacker, Entrepreneur, Marketing Exec

Lessons Learned

The growth mindset is juxtaposition of the creative and curious with the scientific and rigorous.

If you fail 7 out of 10 times at the plate, you are still going to the hall of fame.

Don’t get as many people as you can through the funnel; get the right people through.


Lesson: Growth from User 0 with Morgan Brown

Step #9 Growth Mindset: How to get your head in the game

The growth mindset is really interesting because it is a juxtaposition of creative and curious with scientific and rigorous. I think that you need both. You need the creative and curious because ideas are the fuel for growth and without enough ideas you can't run experiments to figure out what works. You have to have that ideation process and that type of thing.

But you also need to be really dispassionate about what you believe to be true about growth because I can't count the number of times I have been wrong about something. You have to be willing to not try to persuade the data. You can look at things enough different ways to convince yourself that you are right. That is really dangerous in growth because it is not about you, it’s about the company. So you need to have a mindset of real intellectual honesty to be able to say, "Hey, this isn't working." Whether it’s good for you personally in the moment is kind of irrelevant. Hopefully as a growth person you have equity and you can step back and say, "What's good for me personally in the long run is good for the company. It doesn't matter about the short term experiment."

I think that growth mindset is really interesting. I played baseball as a kid. In baseball there is a really famous saying that if you fail 7 out of 10 times at the plate, you'll go to the Hall of Fame because if you can hit 300 in the Major Leagues you are basically enshrined in there as one of the best players ever. And I feel growth is a lot like that. You're going to fail a lot. Even if you succeed just a handful of times you're going to be really effective, but you have to have perseverance to get through those failures. I think that is really important.

I also think you have to be really scrappy. Mike Tyson has a great quote that says, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." I feel that is a lot like being a growth person as a start-up. You can sit in your office, come up with a great marketing plan, and great theory. We're going to market his viral video. We're going to launch this campaign. You put it out into the market and it can fall flat or take off, but you don't know. Once it is out there that is when the real fight is on. That's when it's really time to really earn your keep. I think you have to have a scrappy mentality about that.

I definitely think that if you want to be a great growth person you have to understand those dynamics, have perseverance, be aggressive. But also be very intellectually honest with yourself about what works and what doesn't work.

I follow a lot of ethics and advertising rules. I don't believe in the bait and switch. I believe in being transparent. I believe that the product should stand on its own value. I don't like using tricks. I also believe that conversion funnels aren't about building slides. It's about getting the right people to the product. A lot of people worry about conversion rate and that type of thing. But what they are trying to do is get as many people through the funnel and I want to get as many of the right kind of people through the funnel. That's really key to building sustainable growth engine. But it's also really backed by ethics and that type of thing. I definitely think there are things that are right and wrong that I follow.

I also do believe that to be a growth person you have to be aggressive. You have to be willing to push really hard. You have to be willing to experiment with things. You have to be willing to be aggressive and try new things. I think Airbnb is another great example. Everyone talks about Airbnb's Craigslist hack and I think what most people don't realize is there are two pieces to that. One is the integration that they did which allowed postings to go from Airbnb to Craigslist through an automated form submission. The second thing was spamming Craigslist renters through a bunch of fake email accounts to get people over to the platform.

Part one, the integration, even though it is against Craigslist terms of service, I actually think is rather ingenious and aggressive and thinking outside the box, which I really admire. Part two, I am not okay with. I think there is a right and wrong. You have to be aggressive and assertive, but I also believe you have to follow your moral compass and that is different for everyone.

I am passionate about bringing great ideas to the world. I love entrepreneurs. My family is a bunch of entrepreneurs. My mom started her own business. So I have always been passionate about bringing ideas that I really believe in to people that I think it can really help them. There are a few core truths to growth that transcend business model and vertical and that type of thing that have allowed me to be effective in different spaces. For me, I'm passionate about these unique products and how they can make peoples' lives better and improve what they're trying to do and then bringing them to people. That is valuable. I get a rush out of growth. It's like a big dopamine rush.

I want to work on products I believe in. I believe that there are products that don't deserve to grow. I believe that there are products that aren't great. I only want to work on things that I believe from my personal values and things that I think are worth while in working on. Actually very early on I worked for a bit doing Mortgage Lead Generation for my friends. They knew I was good at digital marketing. They asked me to come in and help them with leads. I did but I was really disappointed with the moral compass of that industry. It led me to start a whole consumer protection blog and that type of thing. Which it was really successful, but that was kind of my moral counterbalance. I decided to leave that industry because while I was effective at it, it wasn't something that I wanted to be doing.

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