The Sushi guy is a growth hacker and he doesn’t know it!


Let me tell you a story.

Tropical is located in a pretty big office space in a huge building near downtown Montreal. I had barely started working here when I noticed a ritual. Each day, around 11:30am, everyone would start yelling “Sushi! Sushi!” They were all giggling, and repeating one after the other, “Sushi! Sushi!”.

“What the hell?”. What is wrong with those guys sushi-ing out loud every day?

The second day I saw a guy with a big isothermal bag. He entered the office, and started to yell “Sushi! Sushi!” It seemed obvious enough- he must be delivering sushi to someone in the office. But then he came again the third day, and the fourth day, and the week after. “Sushi! Sushi!”

I soon realized that no one in the office was ordering sushi.
This sushi guy owns a restaurant nearby and instead of patiently waiting for clients in the comfort of his chair, he decided to hack his growth! Every day, this guy prepares a duffel bag loaded with sushi of all kinds and he passes by EVERY office in our building.

And it’s working. There are tons of people buying sushi from him.

Think about that! You’re stuck in a meeting or are hit with the sudden inspiration to write a blog post about sushi… and you’re hungry. With this guy, you don’t have to leave the office. The food almost comes directly in your mouth.

It is also the way he sells his food.
It’s super effective- “Sushi! Sushi!”. He doesn’t have to walk to the end of the office: my colleagues are repeating his message for him. Everybody knows he’s here. He even reaches new employees. He generates new leads!

I bet you 100$ that while reading this you were saying “Of course, it’s logical” and that’s what I thought at first. There must be like 100 offices in our building. It’s just logical that a guy who wants to sell sushi should come by to offer his food.

But why is he the only restaurant owner to ring at our door like this?

Why are not all restaurant owners in our area doing the same thing?

Because it’s easier to sit and wait, ladies and gentlemen, and blame the world for not having the success you deserve.

My sushi guy is a growth hacker.

He doesn’t know it, but he is. And I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t have any “technical” skills. Of course he knows how to prepare sushi. But does he know anything about marketing? Does he have a degree in customer psychology?

Probably not!

A growth hacker needs technical skills, right?
You can do exactly the same growth hacking with your online business. You could be an entrepreneur, a marketing specialist, or a copywriter that wants to see your business to grow. Not everyone is a skilled technical person, and you might be looking at your lack of technical skills and telling yourself: “I need to take that coding course” or “I can’t perform A/B test”.

It can depress you.

I have often read that good growth hackers must have at least basic technical skills.

I totally disagree.

Take the famous Airbnb hack involving Craigslist. It’s THE case study in the growth hacking community. Airbnb decided to include an auto-post to Craigslist options when a user was offering his house for rent. Smart! Obviously, like Andrew Chen said in his case study, this hack involved a lot of coding since Craigslist has no APIs.

But, let me ask you a question: could the guy who first thought: “Hey, why not auto-post to Craigslist” been a non-technical fella?

Of course. And it’s one of the most famous hacks out there.

A lot of case studies on growth hacks will make you say: “Why did I not think of that?!” Online businesses have all they need to embrace growth hacking. If you’re not a wizard and make your app coding by itself, you probably have developers working with you.

It’s not about skills. It’s not about coding. Think about something and just make it happen, damn it! You do not have to code it yourself!

Growth hacking is a philosophy. For me, it’s pretty simple: “What can I do to make my business grow faster.” It implies working better, smarter, and asking yourself the right questions.

Find out what is valuable to your business.

Find 5 KPIs.
What are your numbers?
There are lots of articles on the InterWeb to help you with that, but find your numbers and stick to them. Write them on your wall so that they are in sight every day.

Invest your time ONLY in the things that have value to your business.

It can be overwhelming to look at the amount of work you have to achieve. Focus ONLY on the things that will make your KPI evolve. It’ll force you to review and refine your work process. Filter out waste.

Waste does not make your business grow!

Get out there.

Meet your business neighbor.
Talk with other growth hackers on Twitter or Linkedin.
Look at what your competition is doing.
Attend to a conference.
Get out of your ordinary.

You’ll find ways to hack your growth! “We know all of that, G!” you’ll say. “It’s obvious.”

But let me ask you: Are you the Sushi Guy or are you patiently waiting in your restaurant for customers to come?


About Guillaume Petitclerc

I'm a design lover, app maker, new technology enthusiast... geek.