“Growth hacks,” like Hotmail’s inclusion of a signup link in its user’s default email signature, can be extremely helpful in driving viral growth early in a product’s path to product market fit (PMF). However, sustaining long-term growth and reaching hundreds of millions of users requires a scientific approach to growth.
In fact, growth experts resoundingly say that “growth hacking” isn’t in their vocabulary or something they relate to their work.
“Hacking” implies a haphazard / gut-driven approach, and the reality is quite the opposite. Startups that have seen amazing growth have developed teams and processes that are intentional, exceedingly metrics-driven, and thrive on experimentation.