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  Introduction to Growth

Welcome to the Complete Guide to Growth. I’m really excited that we could put this class together!

This class is for people building products who want to see the products get more traction.

But “growth” isn’t some magical tactic that will solve all your problems. That doesn’t exist. The goal is to help you work on things that matter. It’s to setup a process to drive experiments. All theory is hard to absorb, so we’ll have plenty of examples. But the focus is on core principles and strategy.

When you complete the course, you’ll have a grip on your metrics and analytics pipeline. You’ll understand how to compare different tactics. You’ll know how to run your growth team to deliver results.

There is a strong focus here on product and metrics. Other resources go into greater depth about marketing tactics, building a sales organization, getting press, and other areas in marketing and sales.

We focus on product because that is what has really changed in the past few years. Growth teams are product managers and engineers and designers working with marketers to drive results.

Who am I? What makes me qualified to talk about this? I got started in startups by founding a company called Tipjoy. We were doing some awesome things with payments on what were then fledgling social platforms. We got into Y Combinator pretty early.

But after we failed to get traction I had a chip on my shoulder about it. I went to go work at Facebook and learned an incredible amount about how they ran growth. The most interesting idea was that the strategy used for their core product could be applied to things like their ad platform. That’s a completely different product!

Then I went to go work at Dropbox to help run growth. That’s where I really applied and refined my growth ideas. I ran dozens of tests. I built whole new social channels. I worked with marketing, analytics, press, and engineering teams. Dropbox was a rocketship powered by an amazing product experience.

Now I run YesGraph, my second startup. We help apps grow by recommending exactly who a user should invite. We do the heavy lifting only the most advanced growth teams at social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn can do -- and we bring it to any startup.

Because growth teams are our customers, we talk to hundreds of companies about their growth. It’s been another wonderful learning experience. So now we want to give back what we’ve learned to the community. It started by writing on our blog, and now we’re refining it to give to you in this class.

One caveat before we dig in! The best things come from iteration and feedback, and this course is no different. I want you to send feedback about this class! Email me at ivan@yesgraph.com