What You Learn at a Startup that Grows from $0 to $7.75 Billion in 2 Years - Deepstash

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Hypergrowth Playbook: Steps to Hopin’s 6 Months of Rapid Growth

Hypergrowth Playbook: Steps to Hopin’s 6 Months of Rapid Growth

  • Start with a visionary founder who is obsessed with product design, who is an engineer by trade, and who is a natural salesman. Most companies don’t even get past this first step. Hopin did because we have Johnny.
  • Hire just engineers as contractors and one other generalist entrepreneur who can write, sell, and help customers succeed.
  • Build a great product with a viral growth loop built into it.

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Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 1)

Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 1)

  • Work closely with key ICPs to shape your product roadmap. Remember that the market you start out serving may not be the market you end up dominating in. With Hopin, we began with solopreneurs, boutique agencies, and influencers but accelerated upmarket quickly.
  • Hire more engineers.
  • Sign your first annual contracts to anchor desirable customers.
  • Begin talking with investors about a pre-seed or seed round.
  • Hire a customer success person, a support person, and a salesperson with a proclivity for ops.

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Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 2)

Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 2)

  • Launch in early access. Build a waitlist, letting in customers slowly. Use a lean marketing tech stack like Hubspot CRM, Zapier, Stripe, and Typeform. This waitlist is your community. StreamYard has an amazing blueprint for building a community of raving fans.
  • Get customer permissions to use recognizable logos and publish select case studies with good logos and/or numbers. These case studies reflect back to the market the type of customers you are built for (i.e., enterprise vs. SMBs)
  • Hire a PR firm to build buzz.

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Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 3)

Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 3)

  • Hire more engineers. Begin to focus on organization, product management, and start to work with GTM on a customer-friendly product release process. Hire a product marketer. ARWAG. Always Release With A GIF.
  • Scale the sales team to do demos and close more deals. Bring in a business operations (biz ops) leader.
  • Scale the success and support teams. The better the product, the smaller these should be. The more complicated the product, the larger these teams need to be. Also, in hyperscaling, support content becomes outdated fast so build in a process for keeping it fresh and up to date.

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Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 4)

Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 4)

  • You should be working with 5+ agencies by now to outsource most of your marketing efforts (brand, creative, paid ads, SEO, content, events, and PR). Write clear briefs. Bring vendors into Slack. Be quick to move on from agencies who are not good fits.
  • Experiment with pricing. Where do you want to be in the market compared to competitors? Ideally, you can offer a free version that has your branding watermarked somewhere (feed the viral growth loop). Also, always be working on the next plan up.

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Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 5)

Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 5)

  • Leverage community feedback (a Facebook group is fine) and user surveys (HotJar is great) for identifying the must-have features that will move customers up to the next plan.
  • Product/market fit is when growth numbers are up and to the right WoW for a dependable amount of time. The waitlist should be swelling. Customers should be regularly writing happy reviews, if not, incentivize them, getting you to the top of the review sites where your customers are researching products.

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Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 6)

Hypergrowth Playbook (cont. 6)

  • Couple the launch with your Series A announcement, directing traffic to your first customer event where you announce a flagship feature.

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RAY DALIO

“If you haven’t done something at least three times successfully, don’t assume you know how to do it successfully.”

RAY DALIO

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Everyone has imposter syndrome.

Everyone has imposter syndrome.

  • There’s a lot of insecurity when you’re doing something you’ve never done before.
  • But I wasn’t alone. No one had experienced this type of rapid growth before.
  • When you realize everyone else is neck-deep in imposter syndrome just like you, it’s mildly reassuring.
  • What matters is that you keep learning, keep driving, keep experimenting, and keep solving problems wherever you are.
  • Constantly ask yourself the question, “What am I not seeing?” to try to stretch your thinking.

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ELAD GIL

Self-protection is the enemy of growth. Rigidity is the number one way to fail as an early startup employee. The sooner you can learn to let go, the sooner you can help grow the company and grow as a professional.

ELAD GIL

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Roadmap marketing.

Roadmap marketing.

  • Don’t be afraid to sell a feature that isn’t quite in production yet. Sell the roadmap.
  • Not only does it light a fire under the whole company to delight a client by delivering by a deadline, it also is highly probable that by the time it’s shipped, you’ll have just gotten through legal and procurement.

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Think in deliverables.

Think in deliverables.

  • This is simply a startup-y way of restating Steven Covey’s principle “Begin with the end in mind.”
  • The key to early-stage rapid growth is to not just think and talk about ideas, but to attach everything you spend your time on to its external impact on the customer and on revenue.
  • Don’t waste time with grand plans and six-month strategy decks at this stage — they’ll need to be updated or thrown out completely as changes happen rapidly and it’s impossible to predict anything beyond a quarter.
  • You need to be thinking two steps ahead while always delivering on the now.

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“Be like water.”

“Be like water.”

  • Adaptability and flexibility are key to hyperscaling.
  • Be like water” was a common management mantra at Hopin used to remind the company to stay agile, embrace change, roll with the bumps, don’t take yourself too seriously, and be ready for any curveball the market might throw at us.

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Move at Hopin Speed

Move at Hopin Speed

  • In the early days, speed wins.
  • Hopin became known for shipping features fast. Almost every week we would release a capability just in time for a big event to showcase it.
  • This speed and responsiveness helped us bring in whales and beat out the competition.
  • Quality was also massively important and we evolved to emphasize both speed and quality for our long-term strategy and customer success.
  • Speed and quality tend to be at odds with each other. Every startup needs to balance both but also needs to decide which one they’re optimizing for.

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Acquisitions are the Ultimate Test of Adaptability, Trust

Acquisitions are the Ultimate Test of Adaptability, Trust

  • Hopin has acquired five companies: StreamYard, Streamable, Jamm, Attendify, and Boomset.
  • It's important for the acquiring company to not come in with guns a-blazing.
  • You’re not coming in as a superior but as a supporter.
  • Don’t disrupt the good that’s currently going on.
  • Instead, become a student. Learn what’s working and what’s not and even when you see inefficiencies, resist the temptation to give orders.
  • It takes more than a few meetings to understand what’s really going on. Do an extended listening tour. There’s no need to prove anything. Simply take the time to build trust.

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Don’t just Ask for Feedback, Make Space for it.

Don’t just Ask for Feedback, Make Space for it.

  • As managers, feedback won’t happen unless you ask for it.
  • It also won’t happen unless you free up the calendar space for it.
  • Being back to back all day every day sends the message that you’re too busy to talk through something.

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The question that cuts right to the true north metrics

The question that cuts right to the true north metrics

  • Armando showed me an interesting insight about managing and metrics.
  • Several times, I’ve been in a meeting where someone reports on their metrics and Armando will kindly interrupt and ask something to the effect of, “But what is the number you care most about and why.”
  • He asks them what is the true north they’re optimizing for. He wants to know why it is important to them.
  • It’s such a clarifying and focusing question. By asking it, it cuts out the surface level cruft numbers and vanity metrics and goes right to the person’s core operating strategy and how they measure it.

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Good Managers vs. Bad Managers in 1:1s

Good Managers vs. Bad Managers in 1:1s

A good manager is generous.

  • They listen, genuinely curious about how their direct reports are doing inside and outside of work.
  • They reflect, coach, unblock and share helpful context.
  • They ask permission to give feedback.
  • They deliver feedback with clarity and objectivity.

Bad managers are defensive.

  • Instead of listening, they have a list of tactics for you to do.
  • They never ask for feedback. Or permission.
  • They’re too vague and dodgy when they give feedback, if they give it at all.
  • They don’t make time on their calendars for you.
  • They make problems bigger. They make problems personal.

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Be Strategic

Be Strategic

  • Being strategic is a direct indication of how big you’re thinking.
  • Fast-moving companies need articulate big thinkers.
  • Thinking big means seeing the big picture, setting the right goals, and envisioning not only the desired state of the future but also the KPIs, systems and processes and team it takes to achieve it.
  • Thinking small looks like just a list of KPIs. It looks like achievable and predictable goals. It looks like a document or deck that is unclear, unstructured, and hard to follow.
  • Your strategy is a reflection of your experience.

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The Sign of a Good Strategic Thinker

The Sign of a Good Strategic Thinker

  • They don't just articulated the problems, goals, plans, people, and metrics of the next quarter, they also have the story, the narrative, that they’re creating.
  • They can confidently describe what the future looks like. And it often looks like a version of something they’ve experienced in the past or from history or from another player in the market that they’ve studied.
  • They have a model they’re building off of.
  • Once you have the story, the last part of being an effective strategic thinker is the ability to communicate it and gain internal traction and 360 buy-in.

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Authenticity isn’t Polished

Authenticity isn’t Polished

  • Prerecorded content didn’t resonate with the audience as well as live content.
  • When viewers realized the prerecorded content wasn’t live, they began criticizing the content in the chat.
  • But during the live content, such as the panel, the audience was more involved in the discussion, asking questions and responding to points in the chat.
  • The observation is that polished, scripted, and produced video isn’t always better than off-the-cuff, unedited live video.
  • Often, the benefit of live streaming is a more genuine and authentic feel.
  • Connect with the audience and share authentic stories with them.

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TYLER LESSARD, VIDYARD VP MARKETING ON FINITE PODCAST

"Content quality trumps production quality."

TYLER LESSARD, VIDYARD VP MARKETING ON FINITE PODCAST

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How to Get Lucky

How to Get Lucky

Always have a project that puts you out there.

  • A project that puts you out there could be anything — an app, a website, a blog, a product, a consulting service, a book, a side project, a hobby, a community, an event.
  • As long as you’re consistently working on it and therefore being seen and meeting new people, it’s just a matter of time before you get lucky.

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CURATED BY

dymphna

Lawyer turned Artist Visionary Curator & Gallerist. Empowering self-love and joy through art. www.innerjoyart.com 💝 Instagram : dymphna.art

Learning from what worked from others experience bears a lot of wisdom. Nonetheless, it is through our own actions and experience that'll make true difference in our own lives. Hope this inspires and serves as useful guidance to all of us.

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