How I became a “growth hacker”

Actually, I didn’t. I evolved into being a growth hacker. Being a logical problem solver, fore-mostly inherited from my early days in computer science studies. I grew up in the early stages of the 4th industrial revolution when chat-support didn’t exist and everybody had to figure out on their own how they got things to work when they were failing. The logic of trial and error and tinkering on their own to get that freaking modem to work to even get out on the web. When IT was in its infancy, gaming was on cassette tapes and floppy disks were a rage. Hooya!

I didn’t even reflect on how my working title evolved. For me, the passion for how I resolved tech issues somehow transmitted itself over in how I moved marketing and communication. More or less in the same way with more and more advanced systems and tooling for the magic, in the end, to happen, enabling sales or reaching other goals. That same passion just naturally carved the path for me. A path for learning new skill-sets along the way and also the value of data, its accumulation, and also how it can be manifested into tangible indicators. 

It’s a mix of certain elements that in most cases can not be taught and schooling doesn’t apply at all. Reflecting on it, for me, these elements lay forth:

  • Sports – that competitive edge that sports leave encoded in the DNA always trying to push oneself for better for every day that passes.
  • STEM – logical problem-solving, recollecting back to my days on that Commadore 64 trying to get that bootlegged tape to just work. Hours and hours in front of tech with a passion for problem-solving from out this world. 
  • Sales – complete and outer less -with no fear of failing, hitting concrete walls, dead-ends or so many nos that can even be counted. Just rising, trying again and again till the yes is achieved, the lead is appropriated, and or the project is in its lock.
  • Learning – hunger for knowledge, not only to better oneself and own skill-sets but also to broaden own and others’ understanding of the umbrella perspective in tying all the red dots in -either with social engineering and/or datasets. The quest of understanding all of the correlations, but all at the same time having the perspective to it in a pure knowledge-based conductive of inquiry way with no bias.

Most people identify the above characteristics or key elements, as I call them, with a hacker’s mindset. So true! It is a mindset. Almost any skill may be taught to anyone, mindset though is nothing that can be taught. You either have it or you don’t. Like Yoda said. “Do or do not, there is no try”. The Jedi mind trick is to wear what you preach on a daily basis as a reminder, or that is true at least for me.

The first time I encountered the term “growth hacker” was when I was trying to accumulate knowledge in engagement platforms for online sales that would be easy maneuvered both for sales and marketing departments. This was in the early days when the reshaping of the playground between inbound and outbound marketing & sales and propositions in the mix was formulated. I came about to read some articles on the future of marketing and what was described as t-marketing or tech marketing. How the sales and marketing departments were supposed to be operated and the school of thought in managing these departments and which key roles were to play were formulated. The terms growth and hacking mindset were constantly popping up, in the end, led me to “growth hacker”. This was me, this who I was, this was why I do what I do. This was how I do it. There was not even a second thought in adapting the title to me. The working title was describing me, the essence of me.

In 2016 people were scared of engaging “a growth hacker”, they surely thought of malicious activities. I would say more stone-cold guerilla tactics and an underdog mentality. Most of the time I was asked if I could hack someone’s Facebook. “Sure”, was always my answer…”1 million is the price”.

Today contacts, in general, have adapted the growth mentality and the hacker’s mindset and are more curious about the practical implications of “how do you do what you do” tying it in a little bit to the “what do you actually do”? The curiosity level has gone up! The investments in actually appropriating “growth hacking” are no longer considered investments, but business enablers. 

To sum it up nicely, my evolution of becoming a “growth hacker” was dependent on a journey into multi-disciplinary fields and my own mindset of adaptation to the journey and into the fields. What I could take with me from sports was the daily improvement part. If I can better myself today compared to yesterday with just 0,01%, that on a yearly bases and compounded is huge. But, for doing that there is nothing else but discipline, intensity and consistency involved.

There is no better time to engage a “growth hacker” than today for any business purpose. If you still do everything that Neil Patel teaches, which is good stuff, you still will need to have in mind that a couple of million others also do that in the same way. What will give your business an edge if you do everything in the same manner that “the main digital scholars” propagate? 

Well, now you know my “why” and what I do. I find and adapt tactics, laying down creative strategies with data for it to enable tangible results. specific for assigned missions. For more on “the how” you’ll just have to follow the journey.

Reach out any time.
Lucas Vasile