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Do product managers at startups also need to be growth hackers?

Growth hacking is often recognized as a mixture between product marketing and product management. Growth hackers are often more focused on distribution of the product while the PM is focused on aspects of a product that influence growth. Because of the structure of startup products, do PMs need to also be growth hackers to be effective?


3 Replies

Chris Pointon
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Chris Pointon Entrepreneur
Internet Entrepreneur and Technologist
An optimally-effective startup PM should have a growth-hacking mindset. If you have growth-hacking marketing person who includes product-based approaches in their thinking you can probably get by without a growth-hacking PM, but why wouldn't you want both of them jamming with each other to find smart ways to grow the business?
Ronis Gracie
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Ronis Gracie Entrepreneur
Product Manager at LeadsMarket.com
I agree with Chris. My view for this topic is that growth should be everyone's goal in the company. Today there is new tools and news technology being born everyday, so a hacking mindset is essential for today and foreseeable future. But yes, the standard execution of growth is align with product + marketing, so that makes sense that a person with those skills will make a good PM. Regardless of that, I think an effective growth team should have at least 1 person from every department of the company, to get inputs and feedback from all angles, but the leader of the growth team most often should be a PM or an Engineer with product oriented view.
Ed Lavalette
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Ed Lavalette Entrepreneur
Project Manager and Consultant
Echo Ronis' point... all employees at a start-up are growth hackers (or as we say everyone sells). To the specific point, assuming your start-up has employees who wear many hats, then I would absolutely look to your PM to think about growth hacking (and sales) when defining the product.

IMO, it might be a good rule of thumb for PM's to think about how to best grow the company while defining the product.
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