Growth 101 for Early Stage Founders

Self-diagnose your current growth status, bottlenecks, and next steps to grow your startup​!
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A few things to note:

This is most useful for early stage startup founders.

The biggest missing ingredient in the perfect “recipe” is the founder - depending on your strengths, capabilities, resources, every founder executes a different strategy. This is no “formula” for growth. Use your discretion.

This content addresses only Principles & Methods, not knowledge/hacks/implementable ideas. Why? This is the best way to master any subject. Also, knowledge changes with time, geography, context, but principles remain the same and methods survive longer than knowledge. So you won’t see any quick tips or tricks here.

This content doesn’t address edge cases (note: despite what you think, most people reading this aren’t building products that are edge cases), there are some gross generalizations here, but, seriously, if you’re an early stage startup and want to get started on “growth” go to the big red START HERE sign.

Frequently asked questions

What is this?

A clickable flowchart, with links, to help early stage founders self diagnose their current startup growth status, bottlenecks, and next steps

Who is this for?

Early stage startup founders

Why is this for Early Stage Founders?

Because most early stage startups suffer from FOMO + Indigestion: Too many amazing pieces of content about growth but too few resources to implement them all. Also, don’t know where to begin. This chart is to help you evaluate what is the right thing for you to do right now. What you should focus on next, and, most importantly, what you should ignore.

How do we know what we are talking about?

It's been written by experts at 500 Startups, noteably: Chandini - Partner at 500 Startups has spent over 1800 hours working hands-on with over 200 early stage startups (helping them with growth) all around the world, using all different platforms and business models - hardware, software, web, mobile, B2B, B2C, India, Southeast Asia, Korea, Australia, Europe, North America…. She's learnt a few things about early stage startup founders, their problems, and their persistent growth questions. This site is my scalable response to “I want to do Marketing/Growth Hacking/Growth Marketing/Growth, where do I begin?” or the perennial “Is there a Growth Hacking 101?” J. Ryan Williams, an EIR at 500 Startups, has been building and training sales teams at startups for 9 years. Ryan’s a speaker, trainer and thought leader, but he has also personally closed tens of millions in deals and as a sales leader he’s hired over 200 reps across the 5 different startups he’s been a part of (which include: AdRoll, LeadGenius and InVisionApp). He’s a master of testing markets, building customer profiles, coaching deals and sales hiring. When not at 500, he is working on his own startup, SalesCollider, to bring founders together with top tier sales leaders through events and advisory.