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Sean Ellis, Father of growth hackers: WeChat Social Network is hard to break

via:博客园     time:2018/6/13 16:32:08     readed:370

Shawn ·Ellis commented on the growth of major social products at home and abroad

Core tips:

  • The growth hacking method is more suitable for young Internet product companies. However, mature social products such as Facebook, Wechat, and Twitter still apply;

  • The core of the growth hacking method is unchanged, but in different countries, different stages of different companies will be different. Through the development of WeChat ecology and the ability to independently retain users' Mobour, it is a typical case to achieve explosive growth of users;

  • When you have a strong network like Tencent or Facebook, it means huge advantages. For new companies, it is difficult to break such a pattern; it is also impossible;

"I will avoid Beijing in December." ”

In the winter two years ago, Sean first came to Beijing. However, cold weather, bad air, and low visibility almost "scared away".

In the fall of the following year, he came to Beijing again and found that it was much better than the last time. He could breathe smoothly and could see far away. And this summer, fresh and clear Beijing almost completely subverted his previous views.

The protagonist who describes his three visits to Beijing is the father of "growth hackers" Sean Ellis. After experiencing the different seasons and discovering the beauty of Beijing, like most of his constant attempts, he accidentally knocked on the door to “growing hackers”.


Timeline back in 1996, in the absence of more budget and marketing professional context, Shawn needs to stimulate business growth through the Internet, which is "low-cost access to explosive growth."

After experimenting with the above concepts in several companies, Sean eventually led Dropbox to achieve a 500% growth. This successful, up to five-fold growth has also contributed to the concept of "hacking growth" he proposed in 2010.

He was frank that many people in Silicon Valley had similar ideas at the time. He was not the first to think of this method. However, he was the first person to give him a reasonable name.

However, seven years later, the Chinese version of “Incremental Hackers: How to Realize Explosive Growth at Low Costs” was formally introduced and published. Three years ago, Fan Bing, a Chinese author, published the book. He explained that he hopes to write in a stable and unchanged perspective.

Of course, Sean's reputation has not only been attributed to several unicorn enterprises he has worked for, but also to the growth hacker community GrowthHackers.com, which he founded.

In order to become the secret growth weapon of major Internet companies, "growth hackers" are suitable for which companies and how to use them rationally?

Which of the larger companies and start-up companies is more suitable for growth hackers?

36 氪: Are mature savvy products such as Facebook and WeChat with over 1 billion users?

Sean · Ellis: My answer is yes. It's almost impossible for these companies to test directly at every place they come in contact with users, and the only way to grow is to make small improvements to any possible place. If you want to grow by advertising on another website, it's really hard.

36: But the products have their own life cycle, and the growth rate has obviously slowed down to a certain extent. Is this contrary to the growth hacking methodology?

Sean · Ellis: This is difficult to judge. There are many people around the world who can tap users in other places. Even if everyone knew that they could use it two or more times, it would still grow. So it's hard to know what the true potential is.

36 twitter: Like Twitter?

Sean · Ellis: This is very interesting. Because their growth rate must slow down. So my thinking is that the company’s business strategy has changed a lot in the month. When users come, they may have stopped growing by increasing hacking methods. Their method of achieving growth is largely due to the product itself.

Like I have up to 120,000 fans on Twitter. Although I can log in automatically, I really don't use it anymore. This is because I can't get more value from there. Personally, I can use it to bring value to others, but I also believe that they can find ways to help me bring value. In this way, the usage will double. Not just retention, but also participation.

36: In addition to these mainstream products, such as secondary products such as quadratic yuan, users have grown rapidly and are large-scale. Are these products in line with growing hacking standards?

Sean & middot; Ellis: I think yes, the quintessence of growth hackers is a growing mindset. Everything you believe to do can be improved, and you must test to verify that it is better than it actually is.

So, from this perspective, I think these companies have achieved success. Perhaps they have already done so. I will see a lot of extra benefits. No matter how successful you are, the right way of thinking will help you become more successful.

36: From the perspective of your work experience, you have served as a market VP for 3 companies, growth consultants for 5 companies, and founders and CEOs of 3 companies. These 11 companies are all Internet companies. In the book, only the Wal-Mart offline company was mentioned as a case. Does this mean that growth hackers are better suited to younger Internet product companies?

Sean · Ellis: Yes, they can do it easier. I mentioned Wal-Mart in my book, referring to the fact that they transport goods and have a lot of data. I think that data is magical, and Amazon also has a lot of data, which will make these Internet companies have completely different performance.

Capital intervention, strategic cooperation, how to use growth hackers?

36 氪: Compared to Facebook, WeChat is already a Super App that integrates taxi, shopping and other services. At the same time, it also launches small programs. How do you see the development of these products? How to use growth hackers?

Sean · Ellis: I think the big ecosystem that can have 1 billion people at any time is a very good opportunity to create new business. Like Zynga and Facebook mentioned earlier, of course, there are some risks.

For example, ecological owners may change the rules, and new companies or new businesses will collapse overnight. You can also see that many companies in the U.S. are growing their business on the Google ecosystem. And Google changed its indexing method. Many companies quickly closed down.

So I still think that billions of users will bring huge opportunities; but at the same time, companies need to retain these users even after they leave the big ecosystem.

Mobhai is a better case. It grew up on the WeChat ecosystem with one billion users, but at the same time, WeChat disappeared and the users of Moipai still won't disappear. Because they have their own independent App.

36 氪: When using a growing hacking method in China, do you need to do a localization?

Sean & middot; Ellis: Growth hacking is based on scientific methods, but the problem is that China and other countries are different in the specific application.

I think the effective method for user growth is different from other countries in China, but the core and essence of the method is the same. You need to analyze the data, come up with ideas, test some of them and see what works. This is the entire verification process and it has existed for hundreds of years.

But the correct answer is completely different in China and the United States, and it will not be the same in A company and B company. And for the same company, after two years, the answer will be different.

For example, in China, Mobike supports WeChat payment because the company and WeChat have a good cooperation. And in order to attract users to register, Mobike can also launch a month of free riding activities. However, in the United States, few people use WeChat, so they need to use different growth methods. For me, swiping credit cards is different from using Wi-Fi to pay for using Mobike.

36 J: You just mentioned that Mobai is a good example of growth hacking. In fact, in China, there is a company of the same strength as the company ofo. However, the involvement of capital has changed the entire pattern of shared bicycles. How can we better apply the growth hacking method in this situation?

Sean · Ellis: It's hard to know, like Twitter. After they reach a certain height, they must make changes, because venture capital agencies require them to do different things and take different paths. If there is no venture capital institution, when the company encounters a difficult situation that requires a lot of money, it will be troublesome. For example, ofo has a lot of money, not Mobiya, and the latter may fail.

Unicorn grows rapidly, but the threat to Tencent is smaller than expected

36: In China, the product growth of Super Unicorn’s byte beatings is also very fast. For example, the monthly news app App lived at RMB 270 million, and the short video app had monthly activity of RMB 300 million. According to the logic of growth hackers, will it be Tencent's potential threat?

Sean & middot; Ellis: When you have a strong network like Tencent, Facebook, it means a huge advantage. For new companies, it is difficult to break this pattern and it is impossible.

In my opinion, the threat may be even smaller than expected. Just like in the United States, Facebook will face the same problem. However, according to reports, Facebook users are growing faster than other products I have done. Because after the user took root in Facebook, their friends are all here, it becomes very difficult to leave.

36 氪: How do you see the competitive relationship and growth of Snapchat and Instagram?

Sean & middot; Ellis: Snapchat does not have a dedicated user growth team and does not conduct scientific tests. They only have great product managers.

They think they know more than users. If you follow their ideas, users will certainly like it. Instead of testing different scenarios, see whether users like it or not. This is a bit arrogant, which is why their stock price (fall).

Instead of being influenced by Facebook, Instagram uses scientific growth methods for validation. When Snapchat has created a very good feature, Instagram will think this looks good, and will learn from it. In addition, Instagram constantly tests test tests to make features more perfect.

I worked with the Instagram growth team and they are very humble people. Because they often fail, and many trials have no effect, it makes them understand that they are not omniscient and omnipotent. They have great product managers, and from the beginning they want to make things better.

36: The AB test is also very popular in China. But some people think that it can only help us understand the user, but it can not help us make decisions. Others think that product improvement is just looking at data, and it's better to not look at the data. What do you think?

Sean & middot; Ellis: What they are arguing about is the data itself. It's important to know that simple data does not help improve results. But AB testing can help you understand the behavior of the user driving the change of data, whether the test is valid and when it is used.

I understand why some people hesitate to use the AB test. But I think it's important that they understand that there is a better way to do everything they do, and it's hard to find a better way without data and testing.

36 氪: Are there any other particularly good social products in the United States other than Instagram or Snapchat?

Sean ·Ellis: If I know, I definitely have invested in them.

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