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A dozen Silicon Valley top tech managers from the likes of Uber, Pinterest, Zillow, Twilio, SurveyMonkey, 500 Startups and BitTorrent will arrive in Sydney on November 26 and 27 to tech Australian businesses how to scalably attract customers and grow revenue.
Australian businesses and startups are great at bootstrapping, but when it comes to scaling the business to the next level there is a lot missing. To get there the business needs one thing; growth. Growth is the application of science to marketing, it has been used by countless successful startups in Silicon Valley to scale revenue into the billions of dollars.
Studies by Deloitte show that Australian startups scaling into sustainable, global businesses is half that of Silicon Valley and, according to the 2015 Startup muster, only 43% are generating revenue.
To help improve this, some of the globe’s greatest growth hackers are descending on Sydney at StartCon, the largest growth conference at Royal Randwick Racecourse on November 26 and 27.
Sean Ellis, the founder of GrowthHackers and Qualaroo, is returning for a second year in a row. “I’ll be speaking about how teams can work together to set and achieve aggressive growth goals. This includes everything from identifying the right growth opportunities to running a high tempo testing process for discovering effective tactics for achieving goals.”
Throughout his career, he has worked to help many businesses grow. “A lot of the work I did at Dropbox and Eventbrite was focused on finding the early passionate customers and building a customer acquisition engine based on what we learned from these people. This involved reaching the right prospects, highlighting the right core product benefit and optimising the new user experience to eliminate complexity, while delivering the core benefit. It’s really important in the early days to combine qualitative research with rapid testing and analysis.
He’s got his eye on the Australian startup space he says, “ I’m inspired by the success of Atlassian and have looked to emulate their low touch sales approach at GrowthHackers (my startup). I’ve also been excited working with SafetyCulture and Freelancer as early customers of GrowthHackers Projects. They are among the most sophisticated growth companies that I’ve seen anywhere in the world.”
Sharing his advice to small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs he has a great knowledge about growth, marketing and success in today’s business landscape.
“The most important thing is to remember to combine qualitative understanding of the customer’s needs with quantitative testing and analysis. Most small businesses focus too much on one or the other. Successful companies are good at balancing both. And it’s very important to move quickly. The market is constantly changing, with new growth opportunities emerging every day and the shelf life of existing tactics collapsing. The winners are able to get in and out of marketing channels pretty quickly.”
“Mainly I want to convince entrepreneurs to change the way they communicate so they can have more impact. A lot of what entrepreneurs have been told by pitch coaches is wrong and actually hurts their effectiveness with investors and customers. I’m making a lot of enemies in the pitch coach world, but most pitch coaches are really presentation coaches. They aren’t from the venture investment world. The dirty little secret no one tells entrepreneurs is that the only time they will ever use their elevator pitch is at an elevator pitch competition. The rest of the time — the vast bulk of their time communicating — they need something different.”
“I think Australia has learned a lot from Silicon Valley about starting up startups. Thanks to my partner Guy Kawasaki and the Art of the Start, plus Eric Ries and Lean Startup, plus Steve Blank and the Lean Launchpad, a lot of the basic wisdom around starting up a startup has been bottled and shipped around the world. Now what Australia needs to learn is the art of scaling up. The fact is, it is easy to startup a startup. It’s really hard to scale-up a company to global success. We have not done a good job of bottling up that wisdom and shipping it around the world. The art of scaling up is still something of a dark art that happens outside the view of incubators, accelerators, and meet-ups. It happens dollar by dollar, hire by hire, behind the doors of fast growing companies.”
Reichert says that scaling up a company is very different than starting up a company and that the good habits entrepreneurs are taught in the startup phase become bad habits in the scale-up phase.
“Startups are agile, ad hoc organisations run by a band of brothers and sisters, each of whom has to wear several different hats. While the process may seem chaotic, it takes discipline to channel that process into discovering and defining a repeatable, scalable business model. In order to scale up, entrepreneurs need to shift to a different form of discipline, structure and accountability – at just the right time. Success is all about finding the formula for making money. Too many companies start spending on scaling up before they have figured out the formula.”