My New Book *Growth Hacker Marketing* is Now Out–Why I Wrote It and How to Get It

September 3, 2013 — 31 Comments

So…the big day is here. My new book, Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing and Advertising is available today. As a Penguin Single, it’s available as an ebook on all the major platforms first (B&N)(iBooks)(Kobo)(Amazon). The audiobook is coming and possibly an expanded print version depending on sales.

But it begs the question: Why did I write a book about growth hacking?

The answer is simple. Because this is the future. Run down the list of some of the biggest brands in the world, brands that are quickly becoming staples of our generation: Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Dropbox, Airbnb, Evernote. Who built them? How did they become so big, so fast?

The answer is growth hacking. It was responsible for building billions of dollars in value for essentially next to nothing–faster than its ever happened before.

What was not used? Traditional marketing. In fact, Facebook’s only stab at it–an ad with Weiden & Kennedy–was a total and embarrassing flop. Forget Don Draper and David Ogilvy. Start thinking about Andrew Chen, Sean Ellis, Jesse Farmer, Aaron Ginn, Noah Kagan and a new freshman class of marketing geniuses.

I wrote this book because it was a chance to document the future of marketing before anyone else. Growth Hacker Marketing is the first dedicated book to the topic from a major publisher. And since Penguin/Portfolio approached me to do the book, I was able to set certain terms–namely the price (only $2.99)–which I designed to open it up to a new audience.

As you’ll also see in the book, coming to understand what growth hacking was and how it worked was a personal awakening for me. It’s a scary thought to wake up one day and realize that much of your job and its skills have been made obsolete. But that’s exactly what growth hacking has done–not just for me, but for everyone who is trying to promote something.

The game has changed and it was growth hackers who changed it. I saw this myself on Tim Ferriss’s last book launch, where having thrown all the traditional techniques out the window, we were able to sell 250,000 copies and create a #1 bestseller by partnering with BitTorrent of all people.

I hope you read this book and begin to understand how and why and what this all means. Even if you’re not a marketer, you will at some point, launch a product, start your own business or publish your own book or music. This book is designed to brief you on the unconventional tactics used by the best in the business.

I hope you enjoy it.


August 6, 2013 — 26 Comments

Nothing can make you reevaluate your life quite like attending a party where most of the people are much more successful than you.

Not because it’s humbling. Not because it inspires you to do more or make more money (which is what too many people focus on in these situations)

But because occasionally you will run into someone–a person who has objectively done more or has more success than you will likely ever have–who, nevertheless….

-Has less swagger
-Talks less about themselves
-Is more interested in other people
-Is still willing to learn (has less emphatic opinions)
-Dominates the conversation less
-Undersells their accomplishments

You can’t run from or deny this–this implicit counterexample right there in front of you. It is a wordless indictment of you and the hubris and pride you’ve picked up over time.

And then you have to ask yourself, what’s my excuse? Where do I get off being such an asshole? It doesn’t look so good in comparison, does it?

Or I suppose you could miss all this or lie to yourself–giving yourself a bunch of disingenuous answers as to why you act like you do. But that’s another flaw on top of all the others.

The Question to Ask

July 30, 2013 — 7 Comments

Let’s stop and ask ourselves a question: What are we doing right now?

Does it fall under “doing what you love” or “being a good person?”

To categorize real quick: the first category is our passions, it’s the people we care about and whatever our life’s task happens to be. The second is our duties–moral, personal, civic. It’s our obligations to ourselves and others as talented and unique individuals who have something to offer the world.

Then of course there is the third category. The “I have no idea why I am actually doing this.” You don’t want to, you don’t actually need to (though someone may have told you “have to”) you’re just doing it. Maybe because everyone else is doing it. Or because it’s easier than saying no or doing nothing.

But then you wonder why you sometimes feel that your life is not your own. You wonder why other people have accomplished what you dream of, while it remains elusive to you. You complain about not having enough time or that you struggle with difficult decisions.

These things are not unrelated. They are no difficult to resolve either.

It begins with a question and standard from which to measure things. And then following it. That’s it.

Some New Writing

July 17, 2013 — 6 Comments

Here’s some of my stuff from around the web for the last few weeks.

Great Lessons From Bad People — Learning From History’s Most Hated
Exposing the Racket: A Simple Stunt Reveals How Blogs Will Print Anything for Pageviews
The Secret That Defines Marketing Now (Fast Company)
How to Travel: 21 Contrarian Rules (Tim Ferriss’s site)(a shorter, altered version of the piece also ran on ThoughtCatalog)
So, You Want To Be a Writer? That’s Mistake #1

You can comment here or on the articles, happy to take questions.

Updates and RSS

June 28, 2013 — 11 Comments

As you know Google Reader is going away on July 1. The feed for this site will continue to work as it always has, and so will my email book recommendations. Personally, I’m using Feedly as my reader and I like it so far.

But as many of you have noticed, I am increasingly writing for other publications as well like the New York Observer and Thought Catalog. Those articles aren’t included in the feed and I think that it’s some of my best work.

Going forward, I am going to be reposting some of that stuff here, but also if you want to keep track of it, I ask you all to following me on Twitter (which you can do via RSS actually) to get the links to everything I write. This is probably the best way to get all my articles from all over the web.

Here are three recent pieces published elsewhere that were quite controversial. Hope you enjoy them:

25 Rules For Living From A (Semi-)Successful 26-Year-Old

How To Read More — A Lot More

The Jenna Marbles Paradox: Why Are YouTube Videos So Terrible?