Why growth hacking is so critical in startups, it is basically the CEO’s job

After a good strategic direction brainstorm with my team this came to mind:  the tale of a self fulfilling prophecy,

Startups need funding.  Even if they don’t need funding to survive, they need it to ensure speed to market.

Just like racing pilots, bikers and cyclists who position themselves directly behind their competitors to avoid wind resistance, in today’s world the second to market may be able to prey on the mistakes of entrepreneurs.  Take Myspace’s rise and demise to Facebook, or Instagram’s impressive shift to all but annihilate Snapchat (let’s wait and see!!!).

To beat the competition in this world, entrepreneurs need not only to be first to market, but must also have the agility and resource to correct their course midway.

And that requires funding.

Funding = Speed to Market

Now, once you are in the market place, you need to show your pedigree, your ability to wow the world into calling you a unicorn.  Prove your concept by converting a bazillion users in the shortest time frame possible, and the dollar tap will open beyond your imagination.

Growth = Proof of Concept

Once you have hit all the right rates and ratios regarding your growth, funding will come.  Well, everyone wants to get on the gravy train!

And alas, once you get an investor on board (specially a VC), they’ll be ushering you to exit every mile of the way.  Why?  That’s THEIR business model.  But I’ll let Luke Kanies ably explain that one to you over at Medium.

Funding = (Forced) Exit.

So, having established growth as the absolute driving force behind the digital economy, what more important job is there for a CEO?  Their obsession needs to be rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.  Which happens to be Wikipedia’s exact definition of Growth Hacking.

Or is it the job spec of a CEO?