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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Lerner

Spotify’s “growth hack” was a clever lawyer

Can lawyers growth hack? Not all growth hackers are marketers - Spotify can chalk up much of their success to clever lawyers. Here’s their story, plus how it relates to your startup. 👇🏼

Spotify did not “discover” that people would want to live-stream their favourite tunes. In-fact forward-thinking music industry lobbyists started re-writing US copyright laws to prevent this in the late 1990s. But Spotify didn’t start in the US. 💡

Spotify’s great "growth hack” was actually a legal manoeuvre. Knowing the USA would be an uphill battle, they gained first-mover advantage in countries where it was easier to license music for a streaming service, like Sweden, France and the UK.

By the time they entered the USA five years later, they already had 10 million users, deals with most major artists, plus lawyers and cash to fight legal battles against executives who still thought they worked in the “record industry.”

The easy way to align your whole team around growth.

We tell our clients that “growth is everyone’s job.” Now, that doesn’t mean the CFO needs to A/B test the copy on the home page. (But that would be hilarious. 😏) Everybody should keep doing the thing they’re good at. But everybody should “do their thing” with an eye to driving your North Star Metric.

Your North Star Metric measures customer behavior, and increments when you deliver value to your customers. (e.g. Weekly Active Users, Repeat Purchases). First, define your North Star Metric and share it with everyone on your team. (Even the lawyers). Next, ask each person to think about how their day-to-day activity can help you make it go up. Finally, incorporate that into your quarterly and annual goal-setting process.

Note: If you’re having trouble finding your North Star Metric, check out this workshop I ran at the Business of Software conference. (Free replay).

Speak soon,


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