Doctors are better growth hackers than you

With growth hacking poised to be the word of the year (now that Microsoft is sort of taking it over and coming up with their own definitions)… I was wondering about the best ways to learn to be a growth hacker. There is the Microsoft interpretation of growth hacking and the rest of the world’s interpretation (as led by Sean Ellis).

Those are all great and I hope that Microsoft can avoid varying too much in their definition of growth hacker from what everyone else in the industry is using as a definition. If you are a Microsoft person or really anyone else in corporate America and are trying to wrap your head around what the heck a growth hacker really is, I like this description Brian Balfour the best – I am borrowing a graphic from this great post.

A couple weeks ago I added another drug for my CRPS and got to thinking about how effective doctors have been at testing, retesting, and learning from what they do for years. It is interesting because despite nearly all doctors being trained at this skill I have been to roughly ten different doctors over the last ten years for my CRPS and only recently have found a doctor who seems to get what it means to be a growth hacker. I think any growth hacker can learn a lot from what she has to offer.

  1. She is patient and measures both quantitative and qualitative feedback on my reactions to the solutions offered.
  2. She has a long list of next steps if the first method is not working.
  3. She is careful not to disrupt or abandon me as a customer while working through learning what works best.
  4. She engages influencers in my life on a personal level and makes them feel as though they want to support her.
  5. She helps me understand the risks involved in me taking the next steps
  6. She uses a freemium strategy that helps me discount any of the risks I’m willing to take (even if that is thanks to the pharma drug pushers)
  7. She understands where her financial returns are and minimizes the friction to get those returns from me (no extra procedures or steps beyond what is required)


Obviously there are a lot of things that could go wrong along the way and ultimately I may end up dis-satisfied with the quality of service. I’m still pretty skeptical after ten years of doctors looking at this problem. That said, these are some of the same principles I see being promoted from the growth hacking community and perhaps the term is really evolving from the original meaning to be a more broad set of principles and style.

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