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The curse of the full stack marketer (growlot.com)
11 points by heidijavi on Mar 7, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments



That’s the curse of the full stack marketer. Over time, if we’re successful, we put ourselves out of a job.

Unless you are the co-founder of the startup.

Also, if you are the full stack marketer of a <10 people startup (where almost everyone is a engineer); you should naturally put yourself in the place of this startup VP Marketing.

Sure, years of experience count if you want to be hired as a VP Marketing at any other company. But a very important upside of being an early employee is the potential to grow with the company faster than you would at a traditional one (the same way the startup itself hopes to grow much faster than the incumbents).

If people are coming from outside to a position higher than you, then is one of two options: (i) you are not as good as a full stack marketer as you should be or (ii) you chose poorly the founders for whom you would work for.

So I would say that that's the bless of being a full stack marketer. If you choose your startup well, you would be a VP Marketing years before someone on the traditional path.


So I would say that that's the bless of being a full stack marketer. If you choose your startup well, you would be a VP Marketing years before someone on the traditional path.

This is the reason to go to a startup as a Marketer rather than P&G. At P&G, even with a top school MBA you'll wait 10+ years to be a Marketing director, let alone a VP. At a startup you'll get the title and responsibilities (if not the budget) much sooner.

Part of it is picking the right founders. How to do that? One is past history. What did they do to prior folks who came along with them? Do they have a history of replacing people with "professional managers" once things start growing?


This sounds like a temporary issue in your career, or, put another way, a circumstance of that particular job. In another year or two (or in another opp that values slightly different things) the full stack marketer will be incredibly valuable again.

Note the value may be for new reasons: Simply understanding all angles of a business is incredibly valuable, and often lacking. It's arguably the one skill one needs more than anything to become a member of senior leadership at most well-functioning companies.


I could imagine this is a problem as a company grows. I've run a ton of Facebook ads every day for three years, so I know the ins and outs of how to do a performance-based ad campaign. Compare me to someone who is good or dabbled in SEO, display, Facebook ads, Adwords, etc. and I'm probably the best choice to run your Facebook ad campaigns. So you could be replaced by a specialist. I think that's why you should look at it less as a curse and more as the way to know what path you want to take (VP of Marketing, go to another startup, grow into a specialty at your current company, or take a more managerial role in marketing at your current company).


It sounds like poor decision making to me. You should become really good at a particular area then migrate into full stack. I encounter this in programming all the time. People claim to be "full stack developers" but when you give them anything above a beginner level problem on something specific they can't do it. If you want to be able to work on the "full stack" in any field you have to earn it and really master all the pieces one by one.


I don't see a good reason for appropriating the phrase 'full stack' for marketing.




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