Growth Hacker Marketing greatest strength and greatest weakness is how short it is, at just a few dozen pages. On the plus side, it’s a super-quick read and is dense with powerful insights about how to change your product development strategy — particularly from people coming from the marketing side who need to learn the new, internet-powered, data-driven ways of acquiring users.
But the booklet barely goes into depth, with just a handful of paragraph-long case studies about clever growth hacks that startups used. I was impressed by Holiday’s powerful new paradigm within a couple more pages, but for the rest of the book, I was starving for some meaty analyses and strategies for thinking up growth hacks. I had some other smaller gripes with the book, too: there was a lot of filler and time spent in Holiday complimenting himself, and some of the now-irrelevant startups the book picks as examples — StumbleUpon, Mailbox, Zynga — show its age.
Though, again, the book’s briefness saves it. If you have 30 minutes to spare and want to gain a new lens on product development, this book will be a great help. But a lot of the work — in thinking up growth hacks and putting them into practice — is left as an exercise to the reader. (Holiday does leave you with one very good, and very meta, growth hack at the end of the book: he offers free content — a “$58 value” — in exchange for your email address.)