You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Want to Thrive Like AirBnB and Uber? Build Growth Into Your Company's DNA. The companies that win big are those that believe that everything they do is to support and drive growth.

By Sean Ellis

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Shutterstock

When you're trying to grow your business, you can never delegate it to one person and hope to succeed -- growth is a competency that must be baked into the DNA of the company. It has to matter to everyone to really work.

This is where most organizations get it wrong. They relegate the responsibility to grow to an individual or perhaps a small team. Larger companies put the onus on sales and marketing. But in most cases, growth is seen as the provenience of a select few, and not core across job functions, roles, titles and departments.

This organizational mindset is the critical difference between breakout startup hits such as AirBnB and Uber and the rest of the world. After years of working with companies such as Dropbox, Eventbrite and Lookout, as well as studying today's fastest growing companies, I've learned that this type of success does not come from a single person or team. The companies that win big are those that believe that everything they do is to support and drive growth.

Related: Finding Growth By Changing Your Mindset

Finding the right growth. There are two types of growth: sustainable and unsustainable. Unsustainable growth is simply viral growth for growth's sake. It's the one-off hits that are nothing more than flashes in the pan. When your company gets a surge of traffic to your website, or a video that strikes a nerve, it's no doubt exciting, but these hits rarely create any lasting value. While viral stunts can catch fire quickly, they typically flame out in similarly spectacular fashion.

We need to change the way we think about marketing and growth in order to create more value from it. Sustainable growth should be measured not by page views and email signups, but rather by how much value we deliver to how many people. This is the metric that successful companies care about. Everything else follows.

When thought about in this way, it's easier to see that growth is not the responsibility of any one person, but rather a company-wide imperative. Dropbox and Upworthy are built on this core belief -- every person at those companies understands that the goal is to deliver value to as many people as possible. Mass is the mission. Dropbox doesn't rely on a mythical "growth hacker," and Upworthy has a growth obsession across their business. Both organizations are focused on delivering value in their entirety.

Related: Why Dumbing Down Your Message Isn't Dumb

Becoming a high-growth organization. Unfortunately, companies can't simply wake up one morning and decide that they're a high-growth organization. It's a process. If your company is thinking about hiring a "growth hacker" or building a growth team, you're headed in the right direction. But don't fall victim to the mirage of the lone wolf who is going to save the day.

Instead, use new hires as the first step toward building your company's unique growth engine. Encourage people to think like growth hackers, no matter the department. Try new ideas, run experiments, see what works. If you have a team focused on growth, how do you get everyone playing for the same side? Eliminating internal blockers to growth from naysayers is job one at this stage. And if you're emerging into a world-class growth organization? Focus on the one metric that really matters -- value delivered.

When done right, growth is inclusive, not exclusive, and the companies that find lasting success are those that get everyone focused on creating and delivering value to their customers in a scalable and repeatable process.

Related: Why a Dog-Eat-Dog Mentality Doesn't Work

Sean Ellis

CEO of Qualaroo, Founder of GrowthHackers.com

Sean Ellis is the CEO of Qualaroo and founder of GrowthHackers.com. Prior to Qualaroo, Ellis held marketing leadership roles with companies including Dropbox, LogMeIn, Uproar, Eventbrite and Lookout. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

This Fan-Favorite Masters 2024 Item Is Still $1.50 as Tournament Menu Appears Unscathed by Inflation

The pimento cheese sandwich is a tradition almost as big as the tournament itself.

Business Solutions

Save an Extra 20% on the Ultimate Microsoft Bundle Featuring Windows 11 Pro, Office, and More

Pick up this package of popular Microsoft products for only a fraction of the price through April 16.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business Solutions

Visualize Data for Better Business: MS Visio is $23.99 Through April 16

Set your team up for success with a reliable tool for creating organizational charts, diagrams, and more.

Business Solutions

Scan Easier and More Affordably with This 20% Discount

iScanner is a mobile app that makes document management, editing, and sharing easier.

Making a Change

Learn to Play Guitar Even if You Have No Previous Training for Just $20

Start with the beginner's crash course and learn how to play guitar in no time.