Product management · Product Development

Do product managers at startups also need to be growth hackers?

Nate Holbrook Founder / CEO at Lilac

June 16th, 2015

Growth hacking is often recognized as a mixture between product marketing and product management. Growth hackers are often more focused on distribution of the product while the PM is focused on aspects of a product that influence growth. Because of the structure of startup products, do PMs need to also be growth hackers to be effective?

Chris Pointon Internet Entrepreneur and Technologist

June 16th, 2015

An optimally-effective startup PM should have a growth-hacking mindset. If you have growth-hacking marketing person who includes product-based approaches in their thinking you can probably get by without a growth-hacking PM, but why wouldn't you want both of them jamming with each other to find smart ways to grow the business?

Ronis Gracie

June 16th, 2015

I agree with Chris. My view for this topic is that growth should be everyone's goal in the company. Today there is new tools and news technology being born everyday, so a hacking mindset is essential for today and foreseeable future. But yes, the standard execution of growth is align with product + marketing, so that makes sense that a person with those skills will make a good PM. Regardless of that, I think an effective growth team should have at least 1 person from every department of the company, to get inputs and feedback from all angles, but the leader of the growth team most often should be a PM or an Engineer with product oriented view. 

Ed Lavalette

June 17th, 2015

Echo Ronis' point...  all employees at a start-up are growth hackers (or as we say everyone sells).  To the specific point, assuming your start-up has employees who wear many hats, then I would absolutely look to your PM to think about growth hacking (and sales) when defining the product.

IMO, it might be a good rule of thumb for PM's to think about how to best grow the company while defining the product.