The valley is quite smitten with the word Growth Hacker. Example. Example. Rebuttal.
Growth hacking is the term used by some to describe the process of manipulating a set of product features to cause optimal returns in user growth, under budget and time constraints.
Great growth hackers blend scientific management with scientific marketing to generate better marketing outcomes. And, since the primary metric of success in the valley is user base size, that's what they seek to maximize.
Most web analysts would recognize the word 'growth hacking' to mean 'optimization', and leave at that. And yet, most web analysts, during most of the period spanning 1993-2010, didn't actively manage the website, little though any SaaS. Web analysts, by and large, were not empowered (or did not empower themselves) to generate better outcomes themselves.
Growth hackers do. They have the budget and authority to do so. And, to do so scientifically. That's powerful.
It's sort of like strategic product management, an inevitable hybrid role mandated by anybody really serious about adhering to the Lean Startup movement.
It's a terrible word, but it is worth understanding the underlining empowerment intended. The label growth hacker really undermines the value of the role.
I'm Christopher Berry
More at christopherberry.ca