The Best of How They Grow
A roundup of my top 10 deep dives
👋 Welcome to How They Grow, my newsletter’s main series. Bringing you in-depth analyses on the growth of popular companies, including their early strategies, current tactics, and actionable business-building lessons we can learn from them.
Hi, friends 👋
I hope you’re all having a wonderful and productive week so far.
This past month has been pretty crazy for this little newsletter of ours, with just under 2K new folks joining us in July. When I started in October last year, I didn’t expect so many of you (over 8K of us now) would come and tune in every week to read through my 30-45 minute pieces. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I would. But here we are.
Seriously, thank you. Thank you for reading, spreading the word, and for subscribing. There’s so much more to come.
Given how many new faces there are around here, I’ve decided to do 2 things today instead of our usual Wednesday deep dive.
I’d really love to learn a little more about you and your perception of How They Grow. To help, I’ve put together a very brief (and anonymous) survey. If you have 1 minute to spare, I’d really appreciate it…
I’ve revisited my past posts and put together a list of The How They Grow Top 10. I hope you can use this week to catch up on some of my best work.
And as always, if you know anyone in your friend group, family, or at work that you think would find value in HTG’s analyses on the growth of popular companies, including their early strategies, current tactics, and the business-building lessons we can learn from them—this would be the perfect post to share with them.
Alrighty, here we go!
How Roblox Grows: From Virtual Playground to Global Empire
Lessons on steadfast vision, platform building, vertically-integrated ecosystems, community as the product, and a peak into what a virtual country looks like
How Duolingo Grows: If Angry Birds Taught You French
Insights on crowdsourcing, product principles, gamification, personalization, storytelling, ruthless A/B testing, duel flywheels, community, finding new ways to reaccelerate growth, and more.
How OpenAI Grows
The need-to-know primer on the AI industry + a deep dive on OpenAI, their big picture strategy, and their tactics with ChatGPT and Microsoft.
Join 8K+ people learning about product, growth, and company building. Free for now, not forever.
How Canva Grows
What we can learn about go-to-market motions, product-led growth, icebergs, and content strategy from a $26b consumer design platform.
How Jasper Grows: When AI-enabled Hammers Are Used To Hit The Right Nail
Digging into the generative AI platform race, and sharing insights and strategies on how AI-native startups can get big--stay big--and win amidst the AI hype cycle.
ByteDance | TikTok: Origins, How They Grow, and The Future of The Internet
Understanding the growth forces behind the most valuable startup on the planet, and breaking down concrete lessons from TikTok's road to 1B MAUs.
How Notion Grows
What we can learn about product-led and community-led growth strategies from a $10bn SaaS startup.
Why Vine Died: Closing The Loop On The Company That Changed The Internet
Lessons to be learned from our first trip to the startup graveyard.
How Superhuman Grows
What a $2bn email startup can teach us about not launching, pricing, viral growth loops, and reverse-engineering product-market-fit.
How Klarna Grows: Building The Shopping Destination of the Future
A primer on the $260B Buy-Now-Pay-Later market, and a deep dive into how Klarna grew from 0 to 150M customers and is disrupting the $8 trillion credit industry.
Outside of my top 10, here are a few other pieces that didn’t make the cut, but I thought were super interesting and had a great time researching/writing. 👇
How Zillow Grows: Building The ‘Housing Super App’
What operators can learn about owning demand, supply-side strategy, the power of free tools, multiple network effects, and the essential evolution of a marketplace from aggregator to integrator
How Stripe Grows
What we can learn about solving hard problems, wizards, going deep on problems and moving fast, building products at the right time, and becoming masters at moat building from Stripe.
How LEGO Grows
Lessons on values, thinking big, innovating inside the box, customer-centricity, genius content marketing, and the timeless way of building.
How Epic Games Grows
A primer on the $200b gaming industry, the power of vertical integration, marketing/product lessons from a video game, and how to grow an ecosystem.
How Shopify Grows
Lessons on starting and scaling a B2B product from Shopify's $44b business-building platform.
How Etsy Grows
Lessons on kickstarting and growing a marketplace from Etsy’s $14b handmade empire.
And that’s it! If you got down here, and you’ve enjoyed any of these deep dives (now, or before), it would be super helpful if you would:
Take this survey if you haven’t yet (the same one I linked to at the top)
Or, if this was your first time reading, of course joining How They Grow
Once again, thank you so much for your time and for helping me grow this newsletter. I’ll see you Friday.