Top 12 Growth Hackers to Follow in 2020

Growth samurais, marketing hackerers, and digital super-master gurus.

Self-proclaimed growth experts pop up left and right every day, so how can you know who you should follow?

Hopefully, this fresh list with the top growth hackers will save you some time.

With no further ado, here are the top 12 growth hackers to follow, from A to Z.

You stalker.

1. Andrew Chen


Name: Andrew Chen
Known for: Uber, Reforge
Quote on Growth: “Growth is an aftereffect of strong product/market fit and great distribution.”

For over a decade, Andrew Chen has been an angel investor and advisor for many including companies, including Dropbox, AngelList, Product Hunt, and Tinder.

In 2015, Andrew led Uber’s Rider Growth product teams, until 2018. It’s no surprise that this was at that time that Uber really took off. 

Today, Andrew Chen is a general partner of Andreessen Horowitz,  a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley,

In Andrew Chen’s blog, you will find his essays on tech and growth such as “The Law of Shitty Clickthroughs” and “Why “Uber for X” startups failed.

 

2. Brian Balfour


Name: Brian Balfour
Known for: Hubspot, Reforge
Quote on Growth: “If you have poor retention, NOTHING else matters.”

Brian has been really busy since the beginning of his career. Accordingly, he’s started many successful companies, some of which were VC-backed along the way.

His role in Hubspot also made him more prominent in the digital/ growth marketing scene. For a little over two years, Brian led the growth team on new Hubspot products. Later he became a lecturer for Growth for entrepreneurship classes at Harvard Business School.

Brian Balfour is the Founder and CEO of Reforge. Reforge is responsible for some of the most advanced in-depth growth programs in data-driven and growth marketing.

If you are interested in Growth and Product, you should probably subscribe to Brian Balfour’s newsletter.

 

3. Eric Peters


Name: Eric Peters
Known for: Hubspot Academy
Quote on Growth: “Build machines, don’t run campaigns”

If you know Hubspot Academy then Eric Peters has done a good job. Eric is the growth and product manager of Hubspot’s training courses and he’s been building and growing HubSpot’s certification program for the past 5 years.

Moreover, Eric has a background in technology entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and growth-stage startups. Before Hubspot, Eric was an advisory board member of Udacity, the popular tech-oriented educational organization.

Occasionally, you will find him speaking in growth, marketing, and business-related conferences and summits. 

 

4. Gilles De Clerck


Name: Gilles De Clerck
Known for: His growth strategies
Quote on Growth: “Traditional marketers follow their gut and either get lucky or get it wrong”.

Gilles De Clerck is a product growth strategist and a startup mentor. 

His journey in growth marketing started with Salesflare when he was appointed in a marketing role in 2016. Today you will usually find him diving deep into subjects such as experimental design to build ROI-driven business growth strategies, validation of new business ideas, personal branding, as well as user acquisition and onboarding.

Despite Gilles being relatively new in the growth marketing scene, compared to the rest growth hackers in our list, it looks like he’s here to stay.

 

5. Josh Fechter


Name: Josh Fechter
Known for: BAMF (Badass Marketers & Founders), The Product Company
Quote on Growth: “A product worth a great story is a product worth selling.”

Josh Fechter was originally known as the co-founder of BAMF, a growth hacking agency in LA.  It was during this time when he broke LinkedIn’s feed algorithm

Since he left BAMF, most of his attention goes to The Product Company, an invite-only community of expert marketing teams. Josh is also a partner at Product Manager HQ, which is another product-oriented company that’s looking to educate the next generation product managers.

Since he no longer has a LinkedIn profile, as he was banned, you can follow him on Facebook or subscribe to Josh’s blog.

 

6. Matthew Barby


Name: Matthew Howells-Barby
Known for: Hubspot
Quote on Growth: “Every single experiment at HubSpot is carried out with the sole purpose of driving more free users to their products.”

Matthew Howells-Barby is no stranger in the growth and digital marketing scene. Matthew is mostly interested in three things: growth, acquisition, and SEO. And content. So that makes them four.

Matthew is always looking for innovative ways to scale up customer acquisition regardless of industry. If you, too, want to learn from Hubspot’s director of acquisition, you can check out his website and read his essays or find out where his next conference talk is going to be.

Also, if you are into crypto, you may want to tune in to the @thecoinoffering podcast he’s co-hosting from time to time.

 

7. Noah Kagan


Name: Noah Kagan
Known for: Sumo & AppSumo
Quote on Growth: “A startup can focus on only one metric. So you have to decide what that is and ignore everything else.”

From Intel to Facebook and Mint, Noah has put his hands on many different projects and products, and their marketing. He also likes tacos. A lot.

What Noah is mostly known for though is Sumo and AppSumo, a list-building set of tools and a daily deals website respectively. For more than 10 years Noah has led and grown two of the most recognizable brands in the digital marketing landscape.

Also, don’t forget to take a look at Noah’s blog, OkDork, where he shares useful insights based on his marketing stories, business experience, and personal development.

 

8. Sean Ellis


Name: Sean Ellis
Known for: Dropbox, Growth Hackers
Quote on Growth: “Growth is an aftereffect of strong product/market fit and great distribution.”

This wouldn’t be a complete list without mentioning Sean Ellis. Sean is responsible for the term ‘Growth Hacking’, as he coined it in 2010. He’s also the co-author of ‘Hacking Growth’, one of the most important books in the Growth bibliography.

Business-wise, Sean is formerly the founder and CEO of marketing software company Qualaroo, which was acquired by Xenon Ventures. In 2013 he founded Growth Hackers, the biggest online community for growth hackers.

A little earlier this year, Sean launched OnlineCareerFair.org, an organization with a mission to help college students build their network and get career guidance.

 

9. Steli Efti


Name: Steli Efti
Known for: Close.io
Quote on Growth: “You have to grow step by step, customer by customer, instead of reaching 100 customers at breakneck speed.”

Steli Efti is the co-founder and CEO of Close.io, a sales automation CRM that helps companies boost their sales. He’s a Y Combinator alumni, and also an advisor to several startups and entrepreneurs.

He’s also the author of The Ultimate Startup Guide To Outbound Sales.

Steli is an expert in the SaaS industry, so it comes at no surprise that his latest book is titled “Product Demos That Sell: How to Deliver Winning SaaS Demos”.

 

10. Sujan Patel


Name: Sujan Patel
Known for: Mailshake, Voila Norbert
Quote on Growth: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Start where you are and expand as you’re able to.”

Originally starting with SEO, Sujan Patel is today a well-established growth marketer and entrepreneur.

Data-driven and creative, Sujan has co-founded two companies, which are responsible for two very successful email marketing tools: Mailshake and Voila Norbert. Mailshake is a sales engagement and automation software tool, and the latter is an email finder tool.

Last but not least, for the past five years, Sujan has also been the Manager Partner at Ramp Ventures, a firm that grows companies and startups like Mailshake, LinTexting, and Narrow.io.

 

11. Tom Hunt


Name: Tom Hunt
Known for: SaaS Hacker / SaaS Marketer
Quote on Growth: “A product worth a great story is a product worth selling.”

If SaaS marketing is your thing then Tom Hunt should be on the top of your list of growth hackers to follow. Tom is the managing director of SaaS Marketer (what used to be SaaS Hacker for a while). SaaS Marketer is responsible for some of the most interesting and fresh SaaS case studies you can find.

Tom is also the co-founder of bCast, a ‘podcast hosting for high growth businesses’.

Before all this, Tom was initially a management consultant. When he got bored, he built a marketplace for online entrepreneurs & virtual assistants from scratch, which then he sold.

If you are interested in what Tom does, don’t forget to subscribe to SaaS Marketer blog or follow him on social media.

 

12. Wes Bush


Name: Wes Bush
Known for: Product-Led Growth
Quote on Growth: “Truly great software companies are built to be product-led.”

Wes Bush is the young gun on our list. If you haven’t heard of him, it’s time you should.

Wes is the author of one of the newest books on growth – Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself. He’s also the creator of a 6-week course which can help you build your own product-led growth strategy from scratch.

If for the last minute you are wondering what on earth “product-led” is, you shouldn’t feel bad; he coined the term. And now his secret mission is to add it to our marketing dictionary! Apparently, he accomplished his mission with my case.

Anyway, you want to hear more from Wes, you should try tuning in his podcast, like a few thousand other marketers do every week.

 

Top Growth Hackers – Honorable Mentions

Did we forget anyone?

Absolutely, but then again this is a top 12 list. So here are a few honorable mentions, so I can squeeze in a few more names.

Nir Eyal is fusing growth, psychology, and business. Besides being a lecturer and a speaker, he’s also the author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products .”

Nadya Khoja is also one of the top growth hackers in her own right. Nadya has been with Venngage, the well-known infographics tool, for more than 5 years, and for the past two, she’s been the Chief Growth Officer. 

And, of course, our very own Theodoros Moulos. Theo is the CEO of GrowthRocks, our growth hacking agency, and Viral Loops, the popular referral marketing tool. He’s the founder and owner of Growth Junkie, a new digital tools directory. What he enjoys the most though is teaching and running Growth Hacking University.

 

 

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