Ten books a growth hacker must read

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Sprints&Sneakers

Are you fairly new to growth hacking? If so, these books provide a good foundation for your growth hacking knowledge. 

The topics range from UX, Growth hacks to methods. All with their own purpose to help in growing a business.

Traction - Gino Wickman

Summary + key takeaway.

Traction provides a useful guide for first-time entrepreneurs who are seeing that their hard work and determination is not enough for growing further. 

Gino Wickman provides his Entrepreneurial Operating System as the solution for removing typical frustrations, allowing your business to run and grow even more rapidly than before. 

This book is about creating a self-sustaining entity that will survive without the presence of the founder. The discussed Entrepreneurial Operating System has six components that needs attention in order to achieve that. 

  1. vision
  2. people
  3. data
  4. issues
  5. processes
  6. traction
 

How others rate the book:

4.0 on Goodreads
4/5
4.6 on Amazon
4.6/5

Hooked: How to build Habit-forming products - Nirl Eyal

Summary + key takeaway.

Want to know why social apps such as instagram and Tik Tok are so addicting? This book perfectly explains how sucg big tech products influence your habits. The key concept is about rewarding people for taking actions that you want them to take.

Nir Eyal describes a 4-step feedback loop consisting of:

Trigger, Action, Reward and investment. 

With this loop, Nirl explains exactly how everyone gets addicted to apps and games, which can be very useful knowledge to have as a growth hacker. It might also help you realise how messed up some businesses are. 

 

How others rate the book:

4.0 on Goodreads
4/5
4.6 on Amazon
4.6/5

Hacking growth: how today’s fastest-growing companies drive breakout success. - Morgan Brown

Summary + key takeaway.

Hacking growth helps companies achieve breakout growth by building a culture of experimentation, something we at Sprints & Sneakers  are also fond of. The book provides useful processes for building cross-functional teams that bring results using continuous experimentation. 

The book addresses four levers of growth

  • Acquisition
  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Monetization

As you can read, there is overlap with the Pirate funnel. The book is a must read for growth hackers who are just starting out. 

How others rate the book:

4.0 on Goodreads
4/5
4.5 on Amazon
4.5/5

Viral Loop - Adam L Penenberg

Summary + key takeaway.

Adam uses companies that were successful in the internet 2.0 era to explain viral loops and how that helped these companies grow to what they are today. Understanding this concept of online virality will help you with designing new growth hacking experiments.


You will learn the following:

  • The history of the internet through the inception of companies such as Hotmail, Paypal, Ebay and Mosaic. 
  • The viral coefficient, the metric that tracks the virality of something online. 
  • How to create virality for your business. 
  • Insight on Viral Marketing and viral networks

How others rate the book:

3.6 on Goodreads
3.6/5
4.0 on Amazon
4/5

Growth Hacker Marketing - Ryan Holiday

Summary + key takeaway.

Ryan Holiday, you might have heard this name before. He is a writer of other best selling books such as Ego is the enemy and Stillness is the key. He is also the host of the Daily Stoic podcast.

This book introduces the growth hacker and why this new way of marketing will be crucial for up and coming businesses. Ryan introduces a bunch of unconventional growth hacks and a system for growing a business as a growth hacker. You’ll learn how to identify opportunities and set out experiments to find your path to growth. 

key takeaways:

  • Growth hacking is a new low budget form of marketing that aims at rapid growth. 
  • Finding product/market fit is key before growth hacking your business and target the early adopters first.
  • How virality comes into play with growth hacking. Turn customers into marketeers.

How others rate the book:

3.8 on Goodreads
3.8/5
4.4 on Amazon
4.5/5

Don’t make me think - Steve Krug

Summary + key takeaway.

Don’t make me think is a must read for UX and UI designers. The book explains how you can provide a mindless online user experience for your audience and therefore convert them more easily. 


Key takeaways:

  • Law 1: Don’t make me think – the overarching rule
  • Law 2: Make very click an obvious choice, it should be mindless
  • Law 3: Half the word count on each page, then half them again. They are distractions
  • How to design your website for easy scanning, use hierarchy in your visuals.
  •  Usability testing: use it in every stage during the design development. 

How others rate the book:

4.2 on Goodreads
4.2/5
4.6 on Amazon
4.6/5

The lean startup - Eric Ries

Summary + key takeaway.

The holy grail within the tech startup world. Lean Startup is a methodology that focuses on finding what your audience wants first. It uses experimentation to prove that you are making progress. 

Key takeaways:

  • Launch as early and cheaply as possible so you don’t waste money and time. 
  • Users first. Learn what they want before you build and improve your product. 
  • Experiment like a mad scientist, let the data tell you what you should do. 
  • MVP, work towards your minimum viable product. 
  • Analyse and react, do you pivot or persevere? 

Read more about what the lean startup could do for you. 

How others rate the book:

4.1 on Goodreads
4.1/5
4.6 on Amazon
4.6/5

Startup Growth engines - Sean Ellis

Summary + key takeaway.

Learn about the classic growth hacks which Facebook and Uber have used for their growth strategies and tactics to realise exponential growth in short periods of time. 

Key takeaways:

  • Start big, but small. Go for a big share of a small market instead of joining competition-heavy markets. 
  • Try Freemium if your business meets the requirements. 
  • Build a free inbound tool to attract the right audience. 

How others rate the book:

3.8 on Goodreads
3.8/5
4.3 on Amazon
4.3/5

Secret sauce: the ultimate growth hacking guide - Austen Allred & Vin Clancy

Summary + key takeaway.

A very practical guide to growth hacking. Secret sauce covers all the ingredients needed for growth hacking your business. Ranging from how to get traffic to revenue. Some info might a bit outdated, but it can be a valuable book to scan through. 

How others rate the book:

3.9 on Goodreads
3.9/5
4.6 on Amazon
4.6/5

Lean Analytics, Alistair Croll.

Summary + key takeaway.

As a growth hacker, there is a chance that you will work with startups. Lean Analytics defines the most important metrics for startups depending on their business model and the current stage that they are in. The book is packed with useful tips for setting up and maintaining data analytics. This book also mentions the OMTM, the One Metric that Matters, a well-known concept within the growth hacking world. 

 

  • Which metrics to use per industry
  • Comparable and understandable ratios are good metrics. 
  • Stickiness, only move to the next stage once your customers use your product in the expected way. 
  • Focus on one metric at a time. The One Metric That Matters
  • 3 forms of virality and how to use them in your advantage

How others rate the book:

4.0 on Goodreads
4/5
4.6 on Amazon
4.6/5

Hey there, you made it all the way to the end of this blog, you must be into growth hacking! If you have any questions..

 

Do you own a business? Look at our services, maybe we can be of use for you. 

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