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Guillaume Cabane

Decoding The Growth Mindset

Applying The Angel Investing Mindset To Build An Effective Growth Process
Decoding The Growth Mindset

In recent years, growth marketing has become the holy grail for startup founders, VCs, and operators. But it's still not really understood.

Most practitioners think growth marketing is about hacks, namely finding one silver bullet that generates that hockey stick. Yes, effective growth marketing results in unpopular solutions that deliver disproportionate results, which one could call hacks. But that’s not all of it.

Experienced practitioners know that what worked for others might not work for you, so hacks can’t always be replicated. Also, finding one hack is not enough to win the market in the long run. You need a process to repeatedly and sustainably identify these improbable wins. 

And to implement this process, you not only need different tactics, but you also need a different mindset, one where you understand the probabilities of success vs. risk of failure. And that’s exactly where most practitioners fail. They don’t realize that you must change your mindset to achieve disproportionate results. But you can’t change your mindset without the right process.

At HyperGrowth Partners, we’ve managed to help companies like Ramp scale from $10M to $100M in just over a year because we helped them set up the right growth process right from the start. This process enabled them to develop the right mindset to identify outliers and yield disproportionate results systematically.

In this post, we’ll reveal the effective growth framework we have deployed at tens of companies and how you can implement the process and mindset shift with your team and reliably build that hockey stick growth.

Core Mindset vs. Growth Mindset

Growth professionals are not more intelligent or skilled than core PMs or marketers; they have different approaches and mindsets.

The core mindset has its merits when the benefits outweigh the risks, just like when investing in an already-established late-stage venture. On the other hand, the growth mindset is like angel investing — because you have limited knowledge, outlier effects can happen more often. But you’ll also need to experiment more to find them!

The difference between Core Product & Marketing, and Growth

Founders are realizing the core mindset applied to early-stage sets too high expectations, which makes core teams move too carefully, committing full-blown resources to customer interviews to create fine-grained products and marketing them for the long term.

In early-stage, this mindset stifles chances to discover outlier effects. And if the product doesn't succeed, the cost of failure can be excruciating, particularly in the early stage when VCs pressure to bring products to market quickly.

This was more likely back in 2021 when fundraising was much easier, and whoever had the most funding had more fuel to implement these core marketing strategies end-to-end and with a fine-grained level of detail. But for this cycle, this can’t be done anymore.

Simply put, core product and marketing strategies have a high upfront cost, decreasing the marginal efficiency of capital allocated to these initiatives. And in the current macroeconomic landscape, where fundraising is more challenging, and boards are pushing for lower burns, these strategies will get you only so far and nowhere near the top.

The funny thing is that most startups focus on building disruptive products and experiences but fail to do the same within their marketing. That’s why a new, radically different approach is needed.

Growth and Angel Investing

The growth process solves this similarly to angel investing. According to Angel List, angel investing has the highest yield when investing in every deal. As soon as you start cherry-picking your investments, you miss out on the highest yield of the outliers.

When investing in early-stage startups, angels have limited information to predict whether their investment will be profitable. However, as they invest in more deals, they better understand what makes a successful investment. Growth has the same mindset.

Growth teams work with limited data and continually run tests to prove their hypotheses. The more experiments they run, the more they learn what strategies are successful and quickly feed the learnings back into the process.

Like in angel investing, the key to success for growth teams is not having the highest success rate (typically between 30-70%, just a 2x factor) but rather the highest rate of experimentation. This helps them quickly identify more levers and outliers, reducing their operating costs (which can take 1-10 days — a 10x factor!).

Growth & Angel Investing

The secret to successful growth is finding that lever, the variable that slashes the cost of learning. For example, if the goal is to increase revenue by 10x in the next two years, growth teams must find a lever to reach this goal at a lower cost or in less time. If a growth team focuses too much on a few experiments, they trade the low learning cost for a high failure cost and start operating more like a core product or marketing team.

Finding the Lever

Similarly, if they know the outcome of an experiment will be successful (a sure bet), it’s no longer a growth experiment but a core product feature requiring the commitment of end-to-end resources. This mindset helps learning and shipping faster and builds focus, cross-functional knowledge, and flexibility to adapt to a fast-paced market.

In conclusion, you’ll need to apply the angel investing mindset of experimentation and high-risk tolerance to marketing problems to achieve disproportionate results. To do it systematically, you’ll need a clear framework and process, which most people fail to implement. They’re too focused on the hacks, distracting them from following the process consistently and ultimately learning the mindset.

Scaling from $1M to $10M ARR in one year instead of five requires building this process and mindset right from the start. At HyperGrowth Partners, we’ve put years of craft, experience, and results to perfect this process so your team, too, can join Ramp, Vercel, Maze, and many others on the path to hyper-growth.


Special thanks Matteo Titta for helping me bring this one to life. More content from us at HyperGrowth Partners is about to be shared here.

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