Recently, I’ve helped a few founders/growth leaders with thinking about how to make their first growth hire, and I want to share a few thoughts with you.

Question #1: Do I need a Growth PM or a Growth Marketer?

Growth can mean so many different things.

There are different skill sets: growth product managers, growth marketers/UA/Channel managers, CRM marketers. Which one should I consider as my first growth hire?

There are also people with experiences in different focus areas: acquisition, activation, referral, retention, monetization. Experience in which area is most valuable to me?

My simple answer is: your first growth hire should match your initial growth lever.

First, build your growth model


Last Thursday, I gave a presentation at AppGrowthSummit LA, the topic is about growth model. After the meeting, I got multiple requests for the slides, and decided to share it with broader audience here.

Think the presentation as an extension and upgrade of my medium posts on how to build a growth model Part (1) and Part (2).

Growth model has benefit my work tremendously, in both day to day execution and strategy thinking. It provided a framework to look beyond the details and noises and understand the big picture.

I hope you find this helpful.


Short term win vs. Long term win

1) When you do growth experiments, short term win = better results, long term win= the learning about customer, channel or market that will allow you to come out more experiment ideas

2) When you trouble shoot an issue, short term win = find the cause and fix it, long term win = diagnose what went wrong with the organizational machine that caused the problem to happen

3) When you build a startup or work on a challenging initiative, short term win = you achieved the goal, long term win = you built a dream team that can make anyting happen

To get to long term win: think about how you can consistenly have short term win

Long term win is how you can scale winning


Just had a day full of learning and inspirations at GrowthHackers Conference 2017 in Los Angeles, and wanted to share my top 4 lessons with you.

For those who are interested, I wrote a post about lessons from GrowthHackers Conference 2016, check it out here.

Lesson #1 Growth Hacking is and is not …

If you tell someone you work on growth, you might still get questions like what is that? How is it different from marketing? Sean’s talk summarized it well.


A How-To Plan for a Growth Practitioner’s First 90 Days

Photo Credit: Flickr

When I joined my current company as the first “Growth” hire, I came with a plan — a First 90 Day Plan: to establish an growth experimentation process, promote a growth culture, and demonstrate enough results to get buy-in from the organization, all within my first 90 days.

Now 90 days passed, how did I do?

With the plan, I did generate some good result, but most importantly, I learned a lot from implementing my first 90-day plan, which I’d like to share with growth practitioners like you.

In my last post “A Growth Practitioner’s First 90-day Plan”, I talked…


Find and Transit into Your Next Growth Role Successfully

Photo credit: flickr

When I joined my current company Acorns in September 2016, I came with a plan.

As the first person in the team dedicated to user retention, I viewed myself as the first Product Manager of “Growth”, a new role many fast-growing startups such as Uber and Airbnb have adopted to drive growth.

As I do with any previous jobs, I am eager to contribute and learn. But this time, I also tasked myself of something both challenging and exciting:

My goal for the first 90 days is to take the initiative to establish an growth experimentation process, promote a growth…


This slide deck was based on a panel discussion featuring Naomi Ionita of invoice2go, Zachary Kinloch of DoorDash, Aykut Karaalioglu of Mobile Action, Sophie-Charlotte Moatti of Products That Count at GrowthHackers Conference 2016.


This slide deck was based on a panel discussion featuring Casey Winters from Pinterest, Hiten Shah from QuickSprout, Shaan Rupani from DropBox, and Tammy Camp from 500 Startups at GrowthHackers Conference 2016.

Hila Qu

Head of Growth @GitLab. Book Author. Formerly VP Growth @Acorns. PM Growth @Growthhackers.com

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