About Joanna Lord
Joanna Lord is CMO of ClassPass, a tech blogger and builder of beautiful brands. Previously, she was the VP of Marketing at Porch, a marketplace for homeowners to connect with home professionals. Prior to that, she served as CMO at BigDoor, a loyalty software provider in Seattle, WA, and VP of Growth Marketing at Moz (previously SEOmoz), a leading inbound analytics software. She’s an expert in brand marketing, acquisition models, engagement tactics and retention marketing that drives business growth.
In her Learn Inbound talk, Joanna covers how to structure, operate and coordinate for high growth. She’ll walk through everything from infrastructure to hiring to channel investment and leave you with tactical ways to organise for success.
- Marketing teams used to be the only ones responsible for growth, but that’s not the case anymore. Now it involves nearly everyone in the company, and specifically product, engineering and data teams.
- Having a motto that leads employees in a common goal might sound silly, but having this clear can save a lot of time and resources and create a rally point worthy of their time.
- T-shaped marketers are more valuable now than ever, and it’s crucial that they hold analytical, creative, technical and many more valuable skills.
Hello. Oh, that's my music. I didn't pick my music. I told them to pick my music so this is a surprise. Good evening. I'm so excited to be here, it was such a great talk to follow. It's always awesome when you have someone that has such a vast amount of tactics and mind is a little bit more on the strategic side. So it should be a good balance before we end the night with Larry. But for those that don't know me, I'm Joanna Lord. That's pretty much the bio right there. If anyone wants to talk about ClassPass later, I certainly can sit down over a beer and tell you all about it.
But what I wanted to chat about today was habits of a high growth company. So how many of you are on the consultant or agency side? And how many of you the rest are in-house? So it's like a good mix. I'm sure then it doesn't matter really what side you fall on. At this point, all of us are asked on a daily basis to grow faster. It's pretty much the word growth has completely consumed our lives. Even if you're on the acquisition side, the retention side, brand, creative, technical, you're getting asked to think about growth more and more on a daily basis than ever before. And in some ways, it's become a little overwhelming. We're asked to kind of match the growth of these like unicorn-like companies, and that's what I'm going to talk to you about today. Some of the changes that have kind of happened in the ecosystem that we should take note of, and then some of the habits that I actually think we can all emulate. Hopefully leave you with one or two things you can go back to your teams and talk about. And just kind of think to yourself, these are the ways that some of the best companies in the world are growing as fast as they are. It's the way they're getting to profitability faster to kind of own their own destinies.
So we'll jump right in. We've become obsessed, and in some ways I think we're actually chasing something kind of magical. We talk about the unicorns. We talk about the decacorns. The one elusive super unicorn, which is Facebook. And we're asked to go study the way their teams are structured, the campaigns they run, what their websites look like. And we pattern match, right? We try to copy everything they do. How many of you have gotten an article from your CEO or someone that's like, "Look what they did. Can we build that referral program? Can we do that exact same thing exactly?" It's just like it's amazing how much is coming at us and it's like, I actually like have a strategy, I've got like a whole plan. Just let me do it, you know.
And, honestly, I don't really believe in this concept of magic. I don't believe that these companies have thought of something that the rest of us aren't thinking about, or that they're working longer hours, or they're reading different books or different blog posts. Like all of you came here tonight. You have plenty of other things you could have been doing. This is the sort of work it takes to be those sorts of companies. And we're all putting in the same amount of hours. It's not something magical they have that we can't do. I absolutely do not adhere to that philosophy.
I do think the reality is some companies have done it really well and they've done it faster than we would expect. So these are broad statistics, but assuming 1.3 million technology startups, right? How many of those are unicorns? Approximately 142. It kind of goes up and down depending on how we want to value it that day, right? So value it at $1 billion or more. That's not a lot. And so we look at that and we're like, "It's unusual. It must be something to do with the founder. It must be the way they're set up or it must be the money that's in it or they thought of an idea that no one else can think of," right? Something that's totally impossible and off the table for the rest of us in the room.
Not true. If you break down the anatomy of a unicorn, you actually start to see some things that look pretty familiar, right? Mid 30s in age for the founders. The co-founders have worked together before. You usually have a failure or two. I've had two out of my seven. You have to have those under your belt. You actually have to work with these people before, before you start to come together over great ideas and build great companies.
They're in the top cities of the world, Dublin being one of them, tech hubs, places where money is flowing in, ideas are flowing, and people are coming together and thinking about this deeper than other cities. Not many of them are founded by women, but it's growing. Best year to start was 2007. The majority of the unicorns were started then. It was the cusp of the mobile revolution; a lot of them are mobile friendly companies.
The average number of years before a liquidity event, seven. These companies that everyone around us is telling us to grow and be just like, they've been in business for seven years before their liquidity event. It's almost a decade. They put in the time. Some of them aren't that old but that's rare. And then the actual is like 8 out of 10 are consumer. So they play to the masses. It's harder to be it if you're a B2B company, right?
Knowing these sorts of statistics help you break down that concept that it's impossible to be it.
Many of us fall into this. We're here in Dublin, we put in a lot of years, we know what we're doing, and we’re consumer friendly in some way or another. Most B2B companies market like B2C companies these days, anyways. And so if you take that all down, it's not actually that hard to imagine being one of those high growth companies. Or actually stealing some of their habits and applying them to your own business.
If you want to talk about something a little bit more relevant, which is what I think of when I think of growth, there's over 100 million startups that are started each year. I love that. A hundred million people throw away traditional life and they're like, "I'm going to go crazy and start something." Everyone around you is like, "You're nuts." You're like, "I am. Let's do this."
Get really excited about it. You're a risk taker. But how many of them survive? One out of 10, I don't even do the hand raise, like how many of you are startups, because that means that like 9 out of 10 of you won't be in a couple years. It's like sad, right? But the majority of the reasons that company startups don't become companies is because they don't focus on growth, right?
I'm going to talk through it a little bit, but they actually start to focus on all the other things. They jump to stuff too fast. They haven't set up a growth engine. They haven't set up a diversified acquisition portfolio. They don't have true product-market fit. Like the basics, the general basics. They get too caught up in B2E, too caught up in partnerships, too caught up in fundraising. They hire the wrong people too fast because they're fancy people, they know all the things, then they get in fights and the whole thing goes downhill and it's done. That's like what it is, right? So what does that look like, right? It's a hot mess. And so how do you not become that statistic? And that's what... You guys just read the annotation?
I actually asked if this was like an approved slide. We should care about growth, not because we want to be a unicorn, but because we want to be a successful company. We want to run the companies we set out to run. We want to do the jobs that we've been waiting and working so hard to get. And to do those jobs we have to be at companies that are going to last, right? And that's why I care about growth. That's why I'm obsessed with how do you grow healthy year over year? How do you grow faster year over year? How do you hire the right people that are thinking with growth in mind? How do you staff your team and structure it so that everything grows upon itself and nothing fades away, nothing falls apart, right? You don't build the airplane while it's flying.
It's harder than it used to be. That's the reality. A lot of the tips and tricks that we used even five or eight years ago aren't the same anymore. So much has changed. We all know that. We hear it time and time again.
Paradigm shifts on how we staff and hire, how we structure the data available to us, the way our systems talk to each other, the intelligence of those systems, the access for our competitors to the data that we used to have that was proprietary. I mean, it's just totally surrounded us in a way that is more competitive than ever before.
And so that's what I actually want to talk about is some of the changes, and then we'll talk about what it means for us in the long term. So some of the key change is really who owns growth, right? And this might really resonate with you, perhaps on a visceral level. Marketing used to own growth. I was proud of that. Who was in charge of making money? My team was. My team was in charge of making money. Back up, my team makes money. That's how I approached it. And the reality is that's not the case anymore.
At this point, product and marketing have come together. And even more so, we now have the technical and the analytical component. So when I'm in a room trying to think of a growth strategy for this year and what that means, I'm bringing together my CPO, my CTO, my BI team. It involves different systems talking to each other, API integrations at a level that most companies don't do. It involves awareness in hiring the right people that understand this. And trust between those departments, no silos.
If you don't have access to the data, if you're not in bed with your BI team, if you're not best friends with your head product officer, your technology officer, you will not be able to grow. That is a fact. It will happen independent and it won't work at scale. And you'll build a whole world of beautiful things and beautiful marketing campaigns, great healthy channels, but it won't be integrated into the website, it won't be integrated into the company, and the data won't flow through to all the other teams.
And it will stall you at some point. And that's like it's hard to grok, right? Because the trust needs to be there. And if you spend the majority of your time not trusting those teams, you will actually spend the majority of your time focused inward, which is the worst place for a growth marketer to be. If you're focused on internal evangelism and trying to remind people on all the things we can do to grow, you forget to actually do any marketing. It's just really hard.
So it demands a new organizational structure, right? This is an example about the LinkedIn growth team, which so many of us are asked, "Think about what LinkedIn did. They're such a great growth company." They've totally rewritten the way that we structure marketing or growth right? They have SEO, which has its own bucket over here, and they're really focused on public profiles, so like true pages at scale. They've got on boarding activation and intent discovery, which kind of also bridges some channels we more traditionally isolate out. We have comms, engagement through
E-mail push and resurrection, so thinking through win-backs and dormant accounts from emails. And then we also have network growth and this is people you might know, virality and connections.
Now, that's like hard to even imagine, right? I don't know. Think about your team right now. Think about how you would do that. Where would they go? You've got acquisition, retention, lifecycle, and comms. Where does PR go? SEO should live in product. Is it separated out? It's just complicated. And so one thing I encourage you to do is actually think to yourself, "How should my team be structured? Do not absorb the team structure that was handed to you. Do not apply the one you used five or eight years ago. My teams are so different now. In fact, my last company, we put SEO in product. We just do dotted lines, we rethink rhythms, and we recreate summaries and reporting so that we keep constant visibility. And here at ClassPass, SEO is back under me, but I plan on having technical support live in marketing. I plan on having my own inbound engineering team like we did at Moz. You have to rethink the formal structures that we were given. It's the only way to make it work these days when you think about those changes.
The second one is just the skills you're hiring for. So marketers, you know, more historically you think to yourself "creative’s," right? Great storytellers, beautiful designs, think in compelling experiences, and then perhaps specialize into certain channels. Then you get to this point that we're expected to know data deep and well. And so you start to combine the left and the right brain, and now we also expect them to have some element of intuition where they have a number of years experience and they're kind of coming to it with their own approaches and ethos, like their own point of view, and they're very technical.
Most of my marketers know how to write code. Most of my marketers, they're all trained at least at SQL at the very least, but most of them also understand our data systems. And if they don't, there's just ongoing training. They have to know where things are housed. They have to know how to write to them and create tables so we can access that data and use it for good. And so that demands new hires and new investment. I do more training for the team’s cross-company now than I would have ever imagined in the past. I still stand into conferences; I still think it's amazingly valuable, but it's internal training, it's cross-team training. They all go on the phones in customer service, they all go out into the field with sales, they all go sit with engineering for their daily demos or weekly demos. We just do this constant training.
The concept of a T-shaped marketer is more important than ever before. Ryan talks a lot about this at Moz. And in fact, we applied it when we created the marketing team there. And these are all the skills. When you're looking for marketers that are going to go into a high growth marketing team, they need to actually touch or at least have awareness with all of these channels, right? So they're deep in one domain, maybe they're an SEO, maybe they're a content market, maybe they're a performance marketer, but they're across the whole T. So they're technical, they understand product, design theory, inbound, CROs, statistics, modeling, psychology, more than ever before. This is night classes, this is books you read, these are videos you're constantly watching over lunch, and this is exactly what I expect of the teams. And then you get them excited about it, and they grow at a compounding rate and they become amazing marketers. But they're constantly thinking growth first and they have their discipline to go deep on. So they bring that to the team as well. It's just more holistic.
The other evolution that's really changed is the platforms themselves. And so when you think about some growth tactics that were used during the past, they were hacks. They were getting to a platform early and hack into it, right? So whether that be a certain way when we entered Facebook with Facebook ads or like LinkedIn with their contact importer, right? It was a hack. And then you move on, it's actually tools. So building tools on your site that are driving traffic in, right? Very much an inbound marketing philosophy. Or you're driving people to you at scale. Or you're building tools on top of these platforms like plugins or widgets.
And now we have to be deeply in bed with these platforms. We have to understand every new platform within months of when it opens. It's not just for the arbitrage of understanding that platform, it's so that you can actually be thinking ahead of that platform so you can build it at scale. Great example for us, I was talking to Amazon the other day because they're opening a subscription marketplace, or a subscription service. I knew there was no way in hell I was going to be able to build into this subscription service. They want us to be a Beta partner. We don't have the time. I don't have the Dev. I don't want to understand the registry model right now. No way. That's just not possible. But I did take a full hour or two of my CTOs time to scope out the work on the phone with Amazon. I sent it to my growth marketer and I also had someone from B2E get on the phone and talk to them. Because someday we'll have to be on that platform and I want to understand what we have to do to build into it. I need to know what the future scope will look like. Those are the investments you have to make for these platforms now that, if you don't, really kick you in the butt later. And your competitors are. This demands curiosity and accelerated adoption.
This is a really complicated graph that's not that pretty, but the gist of it is if you look at like how quickly these platforms evolve and how quickly they hit saturation, and they're completely not arbitragable anymore. So that's not a real word. Arbitragable is not a real word, but it felt right at the time.
So you can't like scam it anymore, right? So everyone's on it, which makes a lot of the quick hacks not possible. So instead you actually have to have someone on your team that understands them deeply. Understanding Facebook integration, understanding all of it deeply. Not because you might build now. Because you'll have to build someday. So it's just different than it used to be.
So what do you need to do for growth to happen, right? There are pillars. You'll start to notice these are the pillars of great companies. Not just high growth companies, just great companies. They have a phenomenal product, they have a remarkable team, they have a beautiful community, a tribe that is marketing on their behalf, and they do tend to have some sort of X factor. I'm not going to lie, right? You can't just have three. But the interesting thing is we think we have this, like, some companies have amazing communities, no product market fit. Some companies have phenomenal products at a great price, but no one cares. They don't like their story. You have to actually have all four. To be a high growth company, these are required pillars.
And so let's talk through that. How do we get those, right? There are patterns. There are patterns if you break down the best companies out there that they tend to have.
The first is a breakthrough EVP. So in the past you used to think to yourself, a value proposition. As long as someone needed what I had, I would do well. Especially a lot of people differentiated on price. And the reality is those companies barely last anymore. Because companies are emerging with breakthrough value props. And they can charge a premium because they've built all the other pillars. They've invested in the full scale. This is a long quote but I'm actually going to read it, because I think it's one of the best ones that have come out. It came out last year from Paul Graham. Here's a common way startups die. They make something moderately appealing and have decent initial growth. They raise their first round fairly easily because the founder seems smart and the ideas sound plausible. But because the product is only moderately appealing, growth is okay but not great. The founders convince themselves that hiring a bunch of people is the way to boost growth. Their investors agree, but because the product is only moderately appealing, the growth never comes. Now they are rapidly running out of runway. They hope further investment will save them, but because they have high expenses and slow growth, they're now unappealing to investors. They're unable to raise more and they die.
I was just at a company that this happened to. Half a billion dollar valuation, 500 people, talk of the town. We only had product market fit on half of the marketplace. We couldn't crack it out on the other side. We were unable to raise more and they'll likely get bought now. It'll be an okay outcome, but it will be nowhere near what it could have been had we focused on the right things at the right time. This is like sad, but it's so true.
We talk about the companies we love. We get all their articles sent to us on their playbooks. We read about them. They have remarkable UVPs. They're sending things to space, you know. And so if you're at a company or you're getting hired by a company and you're on the hook to drive growth, you absolutely can turn around and say, "Let's do a product audit. Let's do a product market audit. Let's do a SWOT. Let's understand what we're competing with." And you absolutely can go to the product officer and say, "You haven't given me what I need for growth. You haven't given me a product that stands out." And if they still don't, you absolutely have the right to go somewhere else. Because the worst thing to do is to learn all of this marketing and try to apply it at a company that has a horrible product or a product that's less than compelling.
And so the UVP is the biggest thing. And, in fact, I still do this to this day. As we launch new products at ClassPass, we revisit, right? You can't throw a product out into the market and get some traction, but not invest in the longevity of that product.
The second one is the rally point, and this is the mission, right? The vision. This is the Simon Sinek why. It's being able to take what is so remarkable about a company and take it to the masses. And that's in a compelling story, a beautiful website experience, amazing marketing, inbound and paid, right? Great business development, great partnerships. You have to create one that's worthy of their time.
We talk a lot about these companies, you know, LinkedIn, they were all about simplifying and growing every day. One of the best testing cultures ever to exist, perhaps rivaled by Netflix in the last couple years. You have Facebook; they're all about giving people the power to share, right? Airbnb, make the world your home. Slack is one of the new and upcoming fastest growing companies, right? But it’s about being less busy. Who's going to fight a commitment like that? Who's going to say, "No, I actually want to be very busy," you know? You have to take what is so good about your company and you have to put it at the heart of every single word, every single image, and every single page of your marketing. And this takes persistence; no half-ass marketing can be done, right?
Why do you wake up every morning? If you're not having those hard conversations with your CEO, if you're not, every single hire you bring in, making sure they have some sort of commitment to why you wake up every morning, you won't be able to do the type of marketing that's going to stand out for a high growth company. Or just a successful company, right? You need to put it out there; you need to put more of that into your marketing.
I can't imagine, I mean, the number of times where I've seen some marketing asset come by my desk and I'm like, "This could be anyone's. It just has our logo on it." Like, I work at companies that have missions I love. I mean, we spend our hours there, our nights, our weekends, and our vacations, right? If I'm going to do that, if I'm going to work at a company like that for a reason, why would I not put it into everything? Into every asset, right? Inject it in.
Porch was a great at this. We did an amazing job with this. Our mission was to help everyone love their homes by replacing the hassle painting complexity with trust, information, and delight. We're a marketplace where homeowners and home professionals could connect. And you felt it everywhere. We were about loving your home to the point that if a customer service rep got on the phone with a homeowner, and that homeowner just started talking about their home, like the challenges of a home improvement project or whatever, there was no expectation they got off. No SLA, no like need to get off the phone to get to another call. If they took the entire day for one phone call, I will take that loss to my head. I will take it on the operating plan. I'm totally fine with that. That's a cost well invested, right? They're totally empowered to do that any time. And you started to see this culture of empowered employees because they were so bought into the mission that they would stop a meeting if it went off course. When, you know, their chief business officer suggested a business partnership that wasn't right for our mission, you saw a new hire fight him in the right way, like have a really healthy dialogue about, "Is this the right thing we should be doing? Sure it will drive 100,000 page views or whatever, but will it drive the right page views? Will it be from the right people? Will those people tell our story in the right way?" So it's just a really empowered culture when you start to put that rally point at the heart of everything.
The third one is pretty compelling. So we need to focus on more than acquisition for growth. There are three ways to grow a company, right? We all know there's the three common ways. Acquire more, monetize them differently, or retain them longer. These are the only three ways. Everything we know about growth falls into one of these three buckets. This is a great model by the way. If someone throws a great idea at you, oftentimes we have a lot of people that kind of want to come up with prototypes and ideas at ClassPass, and I'll be like, "Which one will it drive and to what degree?" And if they're like, "It's just going to be a great opportunity" or "It's a timely opportunity," but it doesn't drive one of these three things, it does not get prioritized. It has to drive one of these three pillars.
Price Intelligently did a great study. They studied blog posts from 2014 and 2015, over 10,000 of them on growth. And they wanted to know what were they being written about? What was the topic of these growth blog posts for two years? Over 75% of them focused on acquisition. Very small, like, I don't know, five-ish percent on monetization, and then like just under 20 on retention. And, in fact, if you look at Google trends and just type in "growth," like you just see this crazy up and to the right, but all of that is focused on acquiring new people in. Very little on how to monetize them differently. Are we thinking pricing theory or pricing power? Pricing scale like models, different ways to monetize and very little on retention, right?
Acquisition is not the most effective channel for growth, not by a long shot, actually. If we improve each lever at the same rate, it's actually monetization. Most companies revisit their pricing once a year if they're lucky because that's a hell of a hard thing. To be like, "I think we should rethink our pricing." And, in fact, you're seeing this right now. You're seeing companies rework their pricing because we're in a different climate, a macro climate, where we have to get to profitability or show some of these healthy metrics sooner.
But we're not having those hard conversations, we're not thinking through different ways we can monetize or integrate with other products and monetize partnerships. And we're not thinking about retention in the right way.
So this is a huge one. Improving retention and monetization has a 2X to 4X growth impact on your business. So you as a marketer are absolutely not just here to get people in. You are absolutely empowered to sit down with your executive team leadership and be like, "Are we pricing this right for the business? I want to understand our strategy for improving retention. I'm a SAS business. Show me how we're dropping churn. I'm not just going to keep bringing in tens of thousands of people so we can lose 8,000 of them," you know? This is very much in our forte.
So this fourth one I love. This is inbound at its heart, right? I fell in love with it at Moz. It very much has become part of the types of companies that I start to work at and join. They have to believe in this. They have to believe that we are here to participate fully in our ecosystem. So a great example of this, Airbnb does it amazingly well. They have their blog where their engineers write, they also have now at this point every team has some sort of point of view on this, where they're kind of sharing what they're doing inside. They also have cause marketing where they're doing philanthropy.
They're involved in local, and national, and now global, you know, events, causes. They take a point of view on topics; they put a lot of money behind these campaigns, they hold events and rallies. They've aligned with disaster response, they have a platform where you can actually connect if you're in a disaster hit city or country. You can go here and try to get temporary housing and relief. They launched a magazine, like with paper, called "Pineapple.". It's beautiful. It's all for the ethos of travel, the ethos of wanderlust. They became a publisher, right? They talk about their community, they hold more events, they feature thought leaders, curators.
They have become the curator of anything travel, and exploration and discovery. If you love any of those words, you are aligned with Airbnb.
Even if you aren't a customer, you are a fan. Which means you will help someone else become a customer or you will help a customer stay longer and love them more.
They did a partnership with Nest. Every partnership they do is very much aligned, right? So they kind of gave away over 25,000 CO detectors. I have a full time person on my team. Her entire job is to make sure that the top 500 lifestyle and health brands out there do something with us in the next couple of years. I don't need it to all deliver money; I don't need it to deliver customers. I don't care if it's a swap of a blog post or an email, or if we're just in the same room on the same stage talking about health. We need to be in those conversations. We need to be leading those conversations. We need to be challenging the status quo of those conversations. That's what it means to participate fully in the ecosystem.
This is a really hard buy-in for a lot of companies. You should leave those companies. Those companies, like if you're B2B or B2C, this is a strategy that makes it worth the time, worth the amount of time we put into this marketing, worth the type of time it takes to get this marketing in front of all these people. Because you're elevating an ecosystem through participating.
The last one, invest in unscalable moments of delight. We've heard a lot about this in the last couple years. We're actually seeing official roles now being in charge of this, this concept of delight and happiness.
Simple does an amazing job, sure many of you have heard of simple. They, you know, they want to rethink what it could be to be a bank. To be an online bank, a centralized bank. They have bank cards that are these beautifully crafted, put on top of wooden embossed and impressed, marketing language. This is not scalable. Whoever pitched this, definitely the guy was like, "You're crazy. That's cost more than probably we had a budget for the whole month." But they invested in this early and it became very much a calling card. It became posted and shared broadly. People, this was a like a point of pride if you got this card. And that sort of thing made it tangible, it made it different, it made it unique, it made it viral, and a lot of people shared this.
This is awesome. This is an example. It's hard to read but, like, "lost card" in your Simple app. If you say you have a lost card, and one of it says, "My dog ate my card." And they said in here, "P.S. If your dog is indeed the culprit, we'll require one photo for our dog shaming wall." Which they do. These moments of conversation, these moments of hilariousness, empowering your customer service and forward facing teams to be themselves and to take time to write hilarious little things. They do have a dog shaming wall, I've seen it. It's like a wall full of dogs that eat cards. These sorts of things, right? Reset your pin. If you go to the website and put in your PIN is 1234, they write, "pin is ridiculous." Like, you know some engineer was like, "We should write 'pin is ridiculous.'" And normally traditional companies are like, "No, just say like, you know, rewrite pin." But they're like, "This is us. This is us being simple." They have all of these amazing social moments happening, like, "You rule." "No, Simple. You rule." Like this sort of kind of personal touch. We think we have to scale faster than we do, so we strip this out. What's the quickest way to respond to someone? What's the most documentable way? Let's make sure it goes in the send desk. Nice and simple. No, like that's absolutely the opposite of the companies that have experienced high growth. They've done a ton of moments. They've invested in unscalable moments of delight.
Munchery is great example for those that know that food service. They give out these cookies, these maple cookies, with every single order. You know there's someone at that company that's like, "Get rid of the cookie. The cookie is like three dollars to every order. Get rid of the cookie." And they're like, "No, this is what we do. We give out a cookie with every order," right? And they probably have like cookie debates. But those are the sorts of things you have to hold on to. You have tether to these moments of unscalable, moments of delight.
So simply put, kind of as we start to wrap up here, it's like growth is exactly what you expect a great company is. It's not just a hyper growing company. It's not just a fast growing company. It's a great company. They create value, they get in front of as many people as possible as often as possible.
There are just a lot of distractions to that and I think this is where most of us fall off, right? We obsess over tactics that other people use that don't work for our business. Like I just gave you a bunch of things. Adjust it for you. Don't take it at face value, don't go create little cards and have a dog shaming wall. Although that might work for you, I don't know. But like adjust it for you. Think of what it means for you. Don't just steal what they've done. Just because Dropbox had the most amazing referral program doesn't mean that that's the incentive that works for you. Don't go looking for one silver bullet. It's not one hire, it's not one channel, and it’s not one product. It's the culmination of the four pillars day after day after day. It's making the right choices day after day after day. Holding those standards.
Don't forget that revenue is more important than growth, more now than ever before. Growth is a vanity metric, revenue is a business. Dollars are the proxy for the good we do in this world. Nonprofit, profit, or otherwise, right? So don't forget about that. That conversation should always exist. And then don't abandon what got you there. I think a lot of companies become so obsessed with growth they stop doing what they started doing, right? They strip all conversations of what was so great about them at the beginning. They go to horrible tactics that they would have never done back in the day. So don't forget about those things.
I do believe we have a responsibility to grow our companies the right way. I take that very seriously. I won't just grow for growth's sake. And I sure as hell won't do it for fund raising or for board members. I do it because I believe it brings some sort of good to the world for the customer it serves. And so you should absolutely hold that standard when you look at all the different opportunities and ways that you can grow.
Products that offer value to this world, built by these empowered teams with and for communities in authentic and innovative ways. That's what it means to be a high growth company. That's what it means to focus on growth. And it's certainly like a great thing, right? It's why we all joined marketing, right? Because we just wanted to bring great things to the world, and so this sort of standard keeps it possible. So that's all I have. Thank you, guys.