Advice on Organizing and Running Growth Teams from Dan Hockenmaier and Gustaf Alströmer

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Dan Hockenmaier is the founder of the growth strategy firm Basis One. Prior to Basis One he was the Director of Growth Marketing at Thumbtack. You can learn more at

Gustaf Alströmer is a Partner at YC. Prior to YC he was the Product Lead for Growth at Airbnb.

You can find Dan on Twitter @danhockenmaier and Gustaf is @gustaf.

The YC podcast is hosted by Craig Cannon.

Y Combinator invests a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200), twice a year.

Learn more about YC and apply for funding here:



00:20 – Dan’s most unpopular advice

1:15 – What growth strategies do people jump on too soon?

1:50 – Questions Dan asks a company he’s advising

3:20 – Traits Dan looks for in early growth hires

6:00 – How product and growth are tied together

11:00 – Good/bad learnings from Facebook’s growth team

13:30 – A/B testing

16:30 – Retention and other metrics

20:15 – The importance of experimentation

23:15 – Getting ideas for A/B tests then choosing which to do

24:30 – Advice for employees who want to get a growth program going

28:30 – B2B vs consumer growth tactics

33:30 – Pricing experiments

35:00 – Paid marketing

39:00 – Launching in new markets

39:45 – Hiring for marketing

43:15 – Metrics for marketing hires

45:15 – Toni asks – Why did Airbnb grow so fast?

48:15 – Step function growth changes for companies that already had scale

49:25 – Michael Savage asks – It would be great to discuss growth into new regions for example Africa and UAE. What would their approach be, how does it differ from region to region, culture to culture?

52:00 – Justin LaRosa asks – What are some of the most common drivers of viral growth?

54:50 – Hiring a growth agency vs building your own team

57:50 – How do you think about growth in the context of improving humanity?

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