Book Summary: Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown

Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown Book Cover

Hacking Growth is a comprehensive guide to building a business and achieving rapid growth. Written by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown, the book provides a framework for companies to use data and experimentation to drive growth. The book is divided into three parts, with each part focusing on a different aspect of growth hacking. In this summary, we will provide an overview of each chapter and discuss the key takeaways from the book.

Part 1: The Framework

Part one of Hacking Growth introduces the reader to the concept of growth hacking and provides a framework for how to approach it. The first chapter, “The Art of Growth Hacking,” sets the stage by explaining the importance of growth in today’s business environment. The authors argue that growth is the only thing that matters and that companies must be willing to experiment and take risks to achieve it.

Chapter 2: The Growth Hacking Canvas

The second chapter introduces the Growth Hacking Canvas, a tool for visualizing the different elements of a company’s growth strategy. The canvas includes five key components: customer segments, channels, actions, metrics, and ideas. By mapping out these components, companies can identify areas for improvement and develop a plan for achieving growth.

Chapter 3: The North Star Metric

In the third chapter, the authors introduce the concept of the North Star Metric (NSM), a single metric that a company uses to guide its growth strategy. The NSM is designed to be simple, actionable, and measurable, and it provides a clear goal for the company to aim for. By focusing on the NSM, companies can prioritize their efforts and make data-driven decisions about where to invest their resources.

Part 2: The Process

Part two of Hacking Growth provides a step-by-step process for conducting growth experiments. The authors argue that the only way to achieve sustainable growth is by continually testing and refining different strategies.

Chapter 4: Hypothesis and Experimentation

The fourth chapter introduces the concept of hypothesis-driven experimentation, which is the cornerstone of the growth hacking process. Companies should start by identifying a problem or opportunity and then develop a hypothesis about how to address it. They then test their hypothesis through an experiment, which involves changing one variable at a time to see how it affects the outcome.

Chapter 5: Analyzing and Optimizing

Once an experiment has been run, the results must be analyzed and the insights used to inform future experiments. The fifth chapter provides a framework for analyzing the results of an experiment and determining whether it was successful or not. Companies should also use the insights from the experiment to refine their hypothesis and develop new experiments.

Chapter 6: Scaling and Replication

The sixth chapter discusses how to scale successful experiments and replicate them across different channels and customer segments. Companies should focus on identifying the most effective strategies and using them to drive growth.

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Part 3: The Mindset

Part three of Hacking Growth focuses on the mindset required for success. The authors argue that growth hacking is not just a set of tools and techniques, but a way of thinking about business.

Chapter 7: The Growth Mindset

The seventh chapter introduces the concept of the growth mindset, which involves a willingness to take risks, embrace failure, and continually learn from experience. Companies with a growth mindset are more likely to succeed in the long run because they are able to adapt and innovate.

Chapter 8: The Culture of Experimentation

The eighth chapter discusses the importance of creating a culture of experimentation within a company. This involves empowering employees to take risks, encouraging collaboration and experimentation, and providing the resources and support needed to conduct experiments.


In conclusion, Hacking Growth provides a comprehensive framework for achieving sustainable growth through data-driven experimentation. By focusing on the North Star Metric, conducting hypothesis-driven experimentation, and creating a culture of experimentation, companies can achieve rapid growth and stay ahead of the competition. Whether you are a startup or an established company, Hacking Growth provides a roadmap for success.

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