The following is not a verbatim of Josh's talk, but rather notes recompiled from memory and pictures, by Khailee Ng.
Josh joined Greylock as a principal in 2011.
Prior to Greylock, Josh was a product lead for growth and relevance at Twitter, and helped Twitter grow it's active user base by nearly 10x. Before Twitter, Josh worked on the platform at Facebook and led the launch of Facebook Connect. Earlier in his career, Josh led product management for Zazzle, was part of the early team at LinkedIn focused on growth and jobs, and led product and engineering for RealJukebox and RealPlayer at RealNetworks.
Josh holds a BS in Symbolic Systems with a focus on Human Computer Interaction from Stanford University.
Growth is also not just growing 'signups'. It's growing active usage of your product. Twitter was at one point, getting a ton of people signing up for it. But not as many people stuck around to use it!
So if you have an idea, not figuring out growth means it cannot ever become a big business
One easy way to test:
"People want to find out what's happening instantly in their world. Twitter does that."
"People want to stay connected to friends and family. Facebook does that"
You must figure out the value on both sides! Dropbox giving the inviter free gigs and the invitee free gigs is great - but the fact that they're incepting that everyone wants free gigs to store music, photos, etc and keep them safe forever... that's incepting the right idea.
You may get a lot of inbound traffic from SEO. But if that inbound traffic doesn't turn into a habit of direct traffic over time, you're not really growing. SEO comes and goes but if you've steady stream of direct traffic, you're set. Best example is YELP. The user experience is "Hmm I'll Google search for xyz cafe. Oh. I'll click on this Yelp! result. Wow why didn't I just come directly to Yelp in the first place? Next time, I'll just go there directly coz its so much better!" . Hence, for inbound search traffic vs their keyworks, optimize their landing page to convert!
This is how money is managed. Simple accounting, money in money out. Use this accounting format to measure your users! Users in users out!
If all you have is visitors, and not enough regulars, you're a leaky bucket. Leaky buckets don't win.
To fix leaky buckets, one power move is to look for the AH-HA moment…. our AH-HA moment in Twitter was "Once a user follows 30 people, they're more or less active forever." Once you have AH-HA moment, focus your UX to encourage as many people to reach the AH-HA moment as possible! So you got to figure out the ah-ha moment. How to find it? Look for the regulars active users, then find their patterns. The answers are closeby.
Your growth strategy is not static.
Growth strategy evolves over time, what to focus and measure) first? Eg. Twitter in the early days focused on getting people to tweet. bloggers etc. spent a lot more time to getting people to key in their first tweet. The "What are you doing now?" box was huge, and ever-present. Only once got critical mass of content, then there was a shift to consumption, so now the "What are you doing now?" box isn't even there. Now focus on growing followers... so depending on where your business is at, shift your strategy to what helps you win.
More on http://www.slideshare.net/joshelman
Don't be afraid to push.
You gotta find ways to push out your communication in ways that builds your relationship with them. Make sure the email notifications, the tweets, the newsletters, the content, don't just slap it in your blog etc... if you're creating some content, you need to create EXPECTATIONS that people will want the content and will receive the PUSH. Content without push is useless, no one will ever read it.