Find us at our new home

Find us at:

Hi all!

We’ve decided to pack it all up and move Experiment Nation over to a new provider. We’ll still continue to interview great Experimenters from around the world — things will just look a little different.

You’ll continue to find all our past content here, but we’ve also moved them over to our new home.

Why are we moving? To be honest — for more flexibility. Our new home gives us more freedom design-wise and functionality-wise. That, and we get to build a better brand around Experiment Nation (rather than building up Medium’s).

Bookmark this address:

See you there!

Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

In our data-driven and data-informed world, we are increasingly being asked to prove that everything we do is delivering value and return. Rightfully, businesses want to invest where it makes sense — where they can see strong ROIs. While this has mostly benefited lower-funnel activities, upper-funnel funnel activities such as brand building have had a harder time proving their worth.

You focus on what you can measure

At its core, marketing is about persuading people to take an action by presenting them the right message at the right time in the right context. In theory, this is straight-forward. In practice, it is challenging to figure out which…

Photo by Igor Rodrigues on Unsplash

Originally Published on December 2, 2015 on LinkedIn. Updated: August 8, 2018

During the early days of a start-up, the focus is typically on user growth. I.e., getting more people using and enjoying their product or service. A lot of times, this is done by offering the product for free, or in some cases on a freemium model — where the initial experience is free and the customer has to pay to gain access to something of value to the user (e.g., more features).

Some companies are actually able to grow their free user-base to tens-of-millions before ever giving any…

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Proper processes are key to ensuring things are done in an efficient manner. They should scale with your organization — as you grow in headcount, the more you typically need. Further, mission-critical tasks that have to occur regularly should also have strong processes around them as well. But with that said, you should always create process with caution. Always ask yourself : Are we creating a process because we are too lazy to address a root communication problem?

Tackling communication is hard

No one can be faulted for taking the easy route. We all want results now. We all have limited bandwidth. Sometimes, it’s…

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The early days of a start-up are rough. Days are filled with scrambling for funding, users, and the ever-elusive product-market fit (i.e. PMF for you hipsters). A lot has been written about how you can tell whether you have PMF or not (e.g. would 40% of users be upset if you took away a product, etc.), but not anywhere as much on the importance of making sure you keep it.

Sometimes, it isn’t you

It’s natural for people to blame themselves when things go south. I’ve seen it at many companies — time and time again. The KPIs go in the wrong direction and…

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

In sports, the one thing that is harder than winning a championship is defending it. When you become a champion, you also become a target for all the other teams.

In business, success will always attract competitors. There will always be those that want to take your place, disrupt your industry, or put you out of business. But as they say, a great offense is a great defense.

Growth hacking, as the term suggests, is often considered a growth tactic — but rarely is it seen as a defense strategy. But let me assure you, it can be.

Growth hacking…

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We hear it all the time: Network Effects are the Holy Grail of Growth.

For the uninitiated, network effects speak to the improvement of a service or product experience as more people use it. A common example of this is the phone system. The phone experience would be terrible if only one person had a phone. Notable companies that have successfully leveraged network effects are Facebook, LinkedIn, Craigslist, AirBnB, Twitter, etc.

With so many companies doing well by leveraging network effects — how could they ever be a growth hacker’s nightmare? Here’s how. Recklessly managed network effects often result in:

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Every now and then, I run into someone who has a great idea for a startup but isn’t ready to share it because someone may steal his or her idea. Uh huh.


There are a lot of secrets in the world. We don’t openly share a lot of information like our medical histories, PIN numbers, or family recipes. And there are definitely cases where keeping secrets make sense. Sensitive information about our personal lives can be used in terrible ways such as identity and property theft. But when it comes to ideas for a new product — I wholeheartedly…

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Nir Eyal’s Hook model is pretty popular these days within Growth Hacking circles. The model goes something like this:

  • Trigger the user to do something
  • The user does something
  • The user is rewarded for his/her action
  • The user commits to the product

The end result is that the product plays a part in its own retention.

Personally, I feel the Hook model is just a re-hash of the classic Habit Loop from the field of psychology which essentially is:

  • Cue the subject to do something
  • Reward the subject for doing that thing
  • Create the routine to bridge the cue and…

Photo by RKTKN on Unsplash

There’s a lot of information out there around how to build a growth engine, how to organize for growth, how to hire for the skills required for growth, etc. But the one area that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of guidance around is about how to actually start your growth engine in the first place.Time and time again, inevitably, someone asks the following question (or some form of it) during a discussion about growth:

How does a new company go from nothing to something?

This is usually where you hear various definitions of what growth hacking is. (Insert…

Rommil Santiago

Collaborating across functions to tackle new initiatives, stand up new practices, and achieve lofty goals for the last 15 years. Practicing at Loblaw Digital.

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