I’ve been really fascinated by the current craze of “Growth Hackers.” People like Noah Kagan, Hiten Shah, and Dan Martell who are really exceptional at it are a big inspiration. I realized that there’s more to all of these people than just being a Growth Hacker. I found a few qualities in common between all three of them which led me to create a new term called Full Stack Hustler (inspired by full stack marketer and full stack programmer). In basic terms, a full stack programmer can code everything including front end or back end. To be a good non technical startup founder one day, you need to become a Full Stack Hustler which consists of the following qualities :

  • Sales– No matter what business you’re in, being a good salesman is the backbone of being an exception founder or CEO. You will always be selling or should I say ABC- Always Be Closing. Whether it’s pitching to investors or talking to customers, you’ll need to know how to sell.
  • Building Relationships– I hate using the word “networking.” Business is about relationships. Building genuine relationships with people will lead to business, jobs, intros, learning, advice and even friendships.
  • Marketing & Distribution– Noah, Hiten and Dan are all kickass marketers. They understand the future of marketing and concepts like Inbound. All three of their businesses Appsumo, Kissmetrics and Clarity do a brilliant job of producing great content and marketing people love.
  • Thought leaders– They are all thought leaders about startups and marketing. Their following is massive and their social media engagement proves that.
  • Ahead of the curve– All three read and tweet a great amount of technology and startup news. Clearly they are updated about the latest in tech and their respective companies prove it. Kissmetrics believed that marketing was going to be data driven before most people did. Appsumo became a distribution channel for digital goods long before services like Gumroad and Ribbon arrived. Finally, Clarity.FM is making it easy to get access to top notch experts like never before.
  • Understand technology– You need to be able to understand the basics of coding. I understand html/css and have dabbled a bit into rails. While coding may not be my passion, knowing enough to be able to talk to coders is important especially if you want to build a software company. All three of them have done well for themselves so I can assume they have a good basic understanding of coding/technology.
  • Givers– This is the quality that I really strive to keep and get better at i.e giving back. Hiten is seen mentoring startups and founders all the time at events while Dan’s created a whole service for it and also offer’s mentoring himself. Noah’s business indirectly helps startups as well along with his often keynotes at conferences.
  • Hustle– At the end of the day, they are all successful because they work hard and persevere aka hustle. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, there’s not substitute to hard work and there’s opportunity cost to becoming successful. There’s no work/life balance when you’re starting out. Ask any of these three people if they had a work/life balance when they started, I bet that the answer was a NO.

To summarize, a Full Stack Hustler can sell, market and understand technology. Instead of being a Growth Hacker, everyday I’m striving to learn and become a Full Stack Hustler. IMHO, this is what makes a great startup founder and work well with a technical founder.

Thoughts? Questions? Tweet me @thesmitpatel or email smit [at] smitpatel.com