We open on a scene of a crowded co-working space at a company whose assets aren’t much more than a card table, folding chairs and lots of white earbuds. A young person with no experience building a brand pecks at a laptop, hunting for the secret internet button — the one that only people wearing hoodies can see. With a few clever tricks, he will hack the gates of the canal that controls internet traffic and in a matter of days shift the flow of customers from you to them.
That’s the popular image of growth hacking, right? Scrappy startups rocketing from a few thousand users to a million to become market leaders. With a tweak in referral incentives or the customer experience, David not only beats Goliath but becomes Goliath.