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Introducing the Distribution Hacks Blog (distributionhacks.com)
63 points by dmor on July 15, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 24 comments



If you're going to promote yourself on HN, is it too much to ask that the link contain some useful content? Otherwise it looks like your main skill is self promotion.


Given her experience at Twilio and the successful launch of referly (or do you think the press comes by itself?), I think your comment is one of those "why is everyone so negative on HN?" comments.

Please try to be nice. This is an announcement about a new blog. What did you expect besides an announcement?

But to give you the benefit of the doubt, I will say this: as someone who has used the title "Growth Hacker", I find it meaningful but cringe whenever I use it.


That's funny--I imagined this more as a "why is the signal to noise ratio so poor on HN?" post. To be frank, I've never heard of either Twilio or refer.ly. They appear similar to any number of generic tickets in the gigantic lottery that is the web.

I think it's a bit easy to lose perspective here on HN. The tough love: I see a bunch of inexperienced folks pimping themselves out in the HN circle jerk/echo chamber.

For my part, I'm wondering where all the power users went, and how I quickly I can follow them before their next high quality community gets blown open.


You've never heard of Twilio? Every single YC founder I know have. Dunno who those power users you want to follow are. Hate => @einarvollset


Why don't you submit some articles you think are worthwhile and help raise the bar?

P.S. downvoters - this is actually constructive give me a break


I too -- and perhaps those voting you down -- wish I had been "introduced" to your blog through an insightful article rather than a pitch.

Your response dismissively tells your consumer his opinion isn't valid because he's "just" a consumer. Speaking of "sour grapes" ...

"Trying to give an opinion on my wine, are you? Go buy your own land, plant your own grapes, come up with your own fermenting process, bottle your own wine, and serve it to see if you do better."

That's not constructive, it's snide, and not worthy of being given a break.


Yeah I cringe too, but I can't totally figure out why. Are we just grossed out by being put in a box? I am still not totally sure why it bothers me


I think openly claiming to be a hacker, of any sort, is cringe worthy. My bet is that for the most legit hackers (like really good developers I know), this is especially true.

I'm reminded of Boris from "Goldeneye": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl0LZsyi_tA


I think the cringiness is inversely proportional to the geek-cred of the discipline involved.

You're just another Perl hacker? Awesome.

You're a biochemistry hacker? Okay.

You're an "SEO hacker"? Ugh.

You're a (shudder) "brand hacker"? Die in a fire.

But you know what, why are we here on Hacker News? To expand hackers' borders from the inside out — not by recruiting others to call themselves hackers, but expanding the breadth of hacker culture.

And particularly, to validate the idea that got us here — hackers who are passionate about what they produce should seek to control the environment of production, and founding a startup is the best way to do that.

To bring that idea into reality, we need to ditch the idea that "business stuff" is to be sneered at. I personally held that opinion for ten years, mostly because my dad was in business, and so I bounced around "cool" programming jobs instead of pursuing the fullest expression of what I wanted to do.

So Hacker News is where "growth hacking" should live, so it benefits hackers instead of self-styled hotshot business consultants. Hackers should be able to jump into any field, stand on the shoulders of other hackers, and see this is just another place they can apply intelligence, knowledge and experimentation.

That's what bringing the "hacker" label to a new field should be about. And I truly believe that is what dmor is trying to do. So bring on the distribution hacks, let's analyze customer acquisition like hackers should, and long live the growth hacker.


I wonder why "growth hacking" is so in vogue. It might be that more people know how to build products well, so getting distribution is more of an issue. It might be that more companies have taken a rigorous approach to things, shining as examples for the others. It might be that the avenues for growth are more democratized than ever, so instead of having a good rolodex for PR or BD, anyone can hack it.

Either way, it is a good thing and I look forward to reading some interesting stuff on this blog. I've found the most interesting stories are told privately, but hopefully Danielle can divulge more about Twilio & Referly internals because she left the former and runs the latter.


"I wonder why growth hacking is so in vogue"...

Maybe Peter Thiel's lecture on distribution has gotten the ball rolling. (To those of you who missed it: http://blakemasters.tumblr.com/post/22405055017/peter-thiels...) The reason I say this is that just a month ago I wrote a blog post about how inefficiency is an indicator of marketing opportunity, and his lecture was the inspiration.

I suspect we're all looking at the same startup reading material, and it's shaping our thoughts similarly.


I think there is some fascinating skill set collision happening. Marketers are saying, "oh I can learn to code - its not actually that hard". Developers are saying, "oh I can learn to do marketing - its not actually that hard". Arguing whether one is harder than the other would be missing the point, its the cross-disciplinary magic that is happening that I want to capture. I think we had a lot of that at Twilio, and I'm trying for even more of it at Referly, and I want to encourage this to continue in other people's companies.


I just wrote my first distribution hack tactics post just now based on this thread and how you can use negative comments to drive greater engagement and push a post higher on Hacker News. This tactic is not for the faint of heart though http://distributionhacks.com/go-ahead-feed-the-trolls


All these years I wondered how internet famous people deal with trolls and immediately followed by - why do they even take the crap. Looking back at all the cringe-inducing comments on reddit, youtube, or even on HN... and the thought in my head was: "man, Im glad I dont have to listen to that". But wait! That's part of growing the community!!


it is sick but true, sick but true


Wow....what's with all the negativity?

I, for one, am stoked that Danielle is doing this.

As a bootstrapping hacker that lives outside of the US (much less the Valley), I don't have access to the "tips and tricks" that many valley startups have to acquire users.

I lap up every blog post about customer acquisition from Dave McClure, Sean Ellis, Noah Kagan, Andrew Chen, etc. like a prisoner-in-solitary-confinement-with-nothing-to-eat-for-48-hours-getting-a-hot-meal.

I actually JUST made a comment (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4245908) basically requesting this on Gabriel Weinberg's story about 'Traction Mistakes' - and it got a number of upvotes, and still does.

So I don't get where this shit storm is coming from.

Perhaps all the people that loved this idea upvoted and didn't leave a comment and the trolls, because there is no downvote, feel they have to come and spoil the party for everyone else.

If you don't like it, then don't say anything. Move on.

The fact of the matter is that you won't like everything that appears on HN - because you are not supposed to. Some people like some stuff, others like other stuff.

If you read this post properly, and did some research into who the author was (I don't know her, but I did research first), you would get a good idea as to the credibility of the potential knowledge that she is able to share.

No...HN is not turning into Digg. "Power Users" are not moving anywhere. Many of the same people with 10,000+ karma that have been here for the years I have been here are still here and still provide useful insight.

The only thing that is becoming more frequent is the bunch of cry babies that like to shit all over people's work and proclaim the death of HN.

If you don't like it. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

As for dmor, please ignore the naysayers and hit us with that knowledge.

Thanks :)


I'm very happy to have you as a reader, and look forward to answering many questions about customer acquisition based on my experiences past and present.


This is great. I'm looking forward to keeping up with this blog!


Great post. You need a place on your blog to subscribe via e-mail. (I use RSS only for the not-so-useful blogs).


I just wrote an email to the creator of Svbtle requesting this feature, thanks for the suggestion


If every IT person I've ever hated assembled together like Voltron and wrote a blog, I think it would be a lot like that one.


I'm so sick of the people creating accounts on HN just to take a shit on someone. Want to try again with something constructive?


Or at least have the minerals to talk shit using their real identity/regular user account.


wait, is this a compliment? Voltron defends the galaxy from evil just so you know, might want to check your anime facts




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