5 Books to Kickstart your Growth Hacking Career

This article first appeared on Medium

After joining Blossom to lead growth, I’ve immersed myself in everything that is, well, growth.

This is my personal list of must read “growth hacking” books. Enjoy!

1. Traction

“Traction trumps everything” — Gabriel Weinberg

Traction = Growth.

In a nutshell, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares take us through the 19 traction channels:

  • Viral Marketing , Public Relations (PR) , Unconventional PR , Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social and Display Ads , Offline Ads , Search Engine Optimization (SEO) , Content Marketing , Email Marketing, Engineering as Marketing , Target Market Blogs, Business Development (BD), Sales, Affiliate Programs, Existing Platforms, Trade Shows, Offline Events, Speaking Engagements, Community Building

This book is what you wished you had at college. As a guide, it’s super relevant and explains each traction channel in detail (i.e. it’s worth every penny).

2. Hooked

After reading how to grow a product, it’s great to get back to the fundamentals of how to make a product that people will frequently use.

This is where Hooked comes into play.

Through years of teaching at Stanford and working with psychologists, Nir Eyal let’s us in on a Silicon Valley secret — everyone is hooked on apps.

“Many innovations fail because consumers irrationally overvalue the old while companies irrationally overvalue the new.” ― Nir Eyal

By creating habits, products can come to users minds without any advertising or prompts.

  • It’s why you immediately “Google” something when you don’t know the answer.
  • It’s why you upload an important moment to Instagram so you don’t miss it.
  • It’s why you go to Facebook when you want to feel connected.

With this information in mind, you can engineer habitual products to rocket your product’s growth.

3. Growth Hacker Marketing

Ryan Holiday describes what a “Growth Hacker” is from a marketing background.

The book goes through the history of growth hacking and what it means to be a growth hacker at a startup.

“[A] growth hacker is someone who has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable, and scalable” ― Ryan Holiday

It’s a great start for those who don’t have a technology background and sheds new light for those of us that do.

4. Zero to One

This is another book that helps you think of how to make a great product and a great business.

Peter Thiel tells us that we need to think of building our startups as monopolies. And to do so, we must think against the grain and against our industries myths.

“Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.” ― Peter Thiel

Zero to One will inspire you to not only grow a product, but grow an empire.

5. 100 Days of Growth

This book oozes pragmatism.

Sujan Patel & Rob Wormley provide us 100 “how-to” growth hacks, each on a beautiful page.

It’s perfect for startups to add fire to their growth engine, and also for novices trying to learn how growth hacks work in the wild.

[Bonus] Growth Hackers

Growth Hackers is not quite a book, but it your best bet at keeping up with growth hacking news and trends.

It was founded by Sean Ellis, who coined the term “Growth Hacker”. So you know it’s good stuff.

It’s a bunch of quality links and discussions focused around one topic — Growth Hacking. Simple but effective.

I’d love to hear your suggestions.

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