Growth hacking · Startups

Growth Hacking Ideas

Olumidé Gbenro

December 27th, 2015

My ridesharing app Hopn (formerly Hopnoot) has finally launched and I am looking for any creative ideas to market the app to our early adopters (college students). 

We have thought of the basics such as tabling events, handing out flyers to prospective drivers and riders. We also want to give away gas cards after the drivers have completed a certain number of rides.

My questions is 

Question 1. Do you kind ladies and gentlemen have any creative ideas on marketing. We want to Growth Hack in any way possible.

Question 2: We have a high number of requests for drivers and we only see the people on Facebook and Craigslist asking for a ride. We are having trouble finding drivers (people willing to share seats in their cars). 

Any suggestions on how to solve these issues?

Aaron Jun

January 1st, 2016

Awesome to hear, congrats on making it this far! 

One thing I'd suggest is taking a look at the pre-launch strategy of the shaving company, Harry's. You can find details here:

Basically, what they did was gameify their referral program to entice early adopters to bring their friends in. At each level - 5 people referred, 20 people, etc. - there was an item that got unlocked for the referrer. You could offer 5% off a ride for five people referred, 20% off for 20 people referred, etc. 

Harry's co-founder, Jeff Raider, spoke about the strategy and its effectiveness on Hubspot's Growth Show podcast: (The podcast is excellent, and each episode contains at least two or three great insights into growing a company; can't recommend it highly enough.)

The last thing I'll is this: "Growth hacking" should be considered a dirty term. I'm sure you've heard this before, but growth isn't something that you should consider hackable, at least not for the long-term. Growth is a reflection of your company's focus on the product. Alex Schultz, an early member of the Facebook growth team (the Navy Seals of the startup growth world), gives a really great lecture about this concept here:

Hope the above is somewhat helpful and that the lack of coffee isn't affecting my ability to communicate too adversely. Looking forward to hearing about the highs and lows of your journey. Best of luck, amigo.

Eddie Vaca

December 28th, 2015

Congrats on launching and now the real fun begins. 

In the early days of AirBNB, they use to post the rentals on craigslist and other platforms like that. Could be useful for you as well to post there for riders. 

Olumidé Gbenro

December 28th, 2015

That's a great suggestion Eddie, I've read the history of the AirBnB guys and we will certainly do this. I know they were scrapping and programmed a way to connect any posts on CL to their site.

Any other cool ideas please keep them coming!

Faisal Memon iOS Department Technical Lead at Citrix ShareFile Quick Edit

December 31st, 2015

I recall reading about past startups in the ride-sharing model which had problems as you describe. Its an ecosystem play - a multi-sided value chain.  Your value chain is lopsided because riders perceive the value, so want to participate, but drivers don't see the value so are absent.

Why did the sharing economy take off?  It was due to the recession (thus lack of cash), and people wanting to get liquidity from illiquid assets -- such as spare rooms.

Now the problem now is that gas prices are low (petrol/diesel is cheap because Saudi Arabia is pumping at full rate to choke off higher cost challengers in the US fracking industry).

So you need to look for another angle to create a value proposition for drivers who are running their cars quite cheaply at the moment (incrementally).

If you want a more in-depth discussion, catch up with me at and we can video chat.  Or look up me on linked in.

Good luck!

Olumidé Gbenro

January 1st, 2016

Thanks for comments so far. Doing more homework as we speak. Faisal I'll be in contact with you.

★ Thangudu CoFounder at Human Data Project

January 2nd, 2016

Use this guide:

Murali Neelameghan creating hethi-digital business process platforms & RPA

January 2nd, 2016

Business Aspects I can think of for Hopn immediately to increase volume : I see missing Social business management with HOPN

- Create crowd from CIRCLES for [business to consumer] : connect through FB friends group, a simple addition to your app to group friends TRUSTED to share a ride


Sean Wilcox

January 3rd, 2016

Congrats on the service! I agree with most of the feedback on this thread and I'll add a simplistic procedure since there is a general method for fueling user growth. Whether you call it growth hacking or not, this is a standard marketing practice.

1) Define your target. Be as specific as possible for each target you want to acquire.

2) Know your target.And by this I mean REALLY know your target. Know demographic, geo, preferences, tendencies, what do they eat for breakfast (I'mexaggeratingto make a point), etc. for your best persona of a driver, for example. It's not enough to know them as "college students". Dig deeper to find the shared characteristics of your best customers.

3) Research where they go and what they do online and offline. For example, are there user groups, online forums, and websites that this target frequents? Do they do this prior to driving or when they'd need your service?Think of the above example where Airbnb targeted craigslist users. If so, connect with those users on those sites with an offer to get them interested.

Every company is different but the process is generally the same, although actually getting users may be more difficult in one market vs. another. And of course, the product/service has been great because repeat/engaged users is the critical next step.

Good luck!