Team Speak

What is a Growth function in an organization?

A plethora of new roles and functions have surfaced in the past few years, especially in the startup fraternity. “Growth”, being one of them.

It is fairly known that startups are characterized by their single-minded focus on growth. This growth can emerge from multiple dimensions, for instance, new user acquisition, conversion of users to paid users, product pricing and cost optimization. During the early stages of an organization, factors such as strategic direction, competition, market dynamics etc., gain immense priority for the organization to focus on. Combine this with relatively smaller teams and intense communication, and one manages to achieve growth efficiently.

As an organization grows – the product, customer base and revenues become stable – the bold changes that were earlier based on intuition now become a tricky place to continue with, apart from just being risky. Irrespective of the stability the business has brought in, the core focus of a “startup” still remains growth, and undeniably at a significant rate. This brings in the fundamental conflict between maintaining what the organization has (stability) vs. what the organization wants (rapid growth), since both are required simultaneously, to ensure and achieve success. Also, by this time in the lifecycle of a startup, there are relatively well-defined functions, with clear priorities, goals and timelines.

This raises two pertinent questions:

  1. How does the organization balance between faster than normal growth, as well as stability and improving existing business?
  2. How does the organization identify and prioritize where to grow, and get the right talent involved?

The honest answer – is actually having a team inside the organization, that works on solving exactly these questions.

A growth team is a hybrid team of technical marketers, engineers, analysts, product designers and managers, working together to address the problem of growth, while maintaining stability. These steps towards growth are made after a thorough process of experimentation and analysis. Hypothesis creation, A/B testing, data analysis etc. are the tools of the trade.

The experiments brought in by Growth teams are generally incremental. One popular example to demonstrate this is when Uber changed the “Share” button in their app to “Free Rides”. The instantly saw a surge in new customers. This work is generally done in units of “growth experiments”, which can last from a few days to a few months.

Overall, the growth function, like a lot of other functions has developed as a result of the new dynamic technology, startups (and the related speed), have brought into an organization’s progress an sustainability.

At SugarBox Networks, the Growth team is a combination of some brilliant minds bringing alive solutions to ensure the company is enroute progress. More about what we do, very soon!

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