Bowery Capital > Podcasts  > BC Startup Sales Podcast – Optimizing Your Team for Customer Activation with Sean Ellis (GrowthHackers)
Customer Activation - Sean Ellis (GrowthHackers)

BC Startup Sales Podcast – Optimizing Your Team for Customer Activation with Sean Ellis (GrowthHackers)

We’re happy to announce that our guest Sean Ellis released his new book today, covering customer activation amongst many other growth hacking tips and stories. If you like what you hear in today’s podcast, we encourage you to check out “Hacking Growth,” now available for purchase on Amazon!

This week, the Bowery Capital team hosted Sean Ellis, CEO and founder of GrowthHackers, to discuss “Optimizing Your Team for Customer Activation.” GrowthHackers helps companies achieve sustainable customer and revenue growth. The business has multiple dimensions, spanning content, community, training and software., since its launch in 2013, has grown into the foremost online community for the “growth hacking” movement. Now a well-known destination, the site offers an impressive trove of growth hacking resources both proprietary and user-submitted. All content is surfaced, commented on, and filtered by the community of GrowthHackers members, now hundreds of thousands strong. Last year, Sean and his team dramatically expanded the scope of GrowthHackers’ offerings by releasing “Projects,” a purpose-driven software to help teams achieve and manage their growth objectives. This year, the team launched formal consulting and training offerings for companies seeking to adopt key growth hacking techniques and concepts.

In our episode today, Sean discusses a concept he sees as fundamental to the future of growth hacking: customer activation. Customer activation is best described as that “a-ha!” moment when a customer experiences a product’s true value for the first time. Customer activation, in other words, is a proxy for that “first taste” of product-market fit. Importantly, achieving customer activation is a cross-functional effort: sales, marketing, customer success, and even product must all be aligned and communicating in order to understand what that “a-ha” moment is and how to optimize for it. If your teams and objectives are too siloed, you run the risk of missing this critical org-wide goal. In today’s episode, Sean explains how startup leaders should think about structuring their teams to ensure that customer activation is front and center. He shares several examples of how he helped companies like Dropbox and LogMeIn find and maximize product-market fit by testing for customer activation. Listen here and make sure to subscribe to the Bowery Capital Startup Sales Podcast for a new episode every week!



Customer Activation - Sean Ellis (GrowthHackers)Sean Ellis is the CEO of GrowthHackers. He founded the business in 2010, the same year in which he coined the term “growth hacker” (in this blog post). Sean was also the founder and CEO of Qualaroo, a SaaS voice-of-customer solution serving large companies like Uber, Starbucks, Spotify, Burger King and Intuit. Qualaroo was acquired 2016. Prior to founding Qualaroo in 2012, Sean served as a key early growth / marketing executive at a range of technology businesses including Dropbox, Eventbrite, Lookout, LogMeIn, and Uproar. Sean is also a longtime angel investor, has formally advised many startups (including, most recently, Mavenlink), and has served as a Guest Lecturer at Harvard Business School. Sean holds a BA from the University of California, Davis, and lives in Newport Beach, CA.

I also wanted to share a few resources for anyone that would like to learn more about Sean, GrowthHackers, or the growth hacking strategies they have developed. As mentioned above, we encourage you to check out Sean’s new book, released just today: “Hacking Growth.” If you’re more of an in-person learner, the annual GrowthHackers Conference is also coming up on May 24th in LA. Finally, if you’d like to explore some of GrowthHackers’ more hands-on training options, Sean suggests you start with their new GrowthMaster Training Course (follow this link for a 20% discount). Happy growth hacking!


Nic Poulos
Nic Poulos
Nic is a former Partner at Bowery Capital based in New York. Prior to forming Bowery Capital, Nic was an Associate at AOL Ventures where he helped drive investment in and support of over 20 companies, primarily in the enterprise software space. Before AOL Ventures, he served as a Manager at, leading various business development initiatives focused around ad tech and sales. Earlier, Nic worked as a technology investment banking analyst at GCA Savvian Advisors in the firm’s Internet group. While there, he participated in the acquisitions of Broadband Enterprises and, as well as various early- and mid-stage private financings. Nic holds an A.B. in History from Princeton University.