Last week I participated in Tech-festival. Here we are at the opening session with Ryan Taylor talking growth hacking. Now, I really like the themes the festival are trying to adress. Zebras instead of Unicorns. Humans before users. Tech needs to change and its nice to feel that the community is becoming increasingly aware of the influence they wield over modern day society.
The theme was further underlined by great talks by Jean-Francois Groff, contributor to the creation of www, Chris Messina – inventer of #, Payal Arora – digital anthropologist and author of “the next billion users”. We even ended up with a Tech Pledge: Committing to a better future for all.
This brings me back to the the first session we attended hosted by Talent Garden – Rainmaking with Ryan Taylor. It was an 2 hour tour-de-force into how you can use growth hacking to game the system. Showcasing various cases Taylor gave away the recipe to use AI-generated content as a mean to accelerate your content marketing efforts. The goal being to rank higher on Google, a lot of effort was spent on showcasing which tools to use to circumvent Googles E-A-T algorithm (which as I understand is Googles attempt to higthen the quality of stuff being produced online).
The ethic and moral stance Taylor took in regard to gaming the system and using tricks to autogenerate everything from blog posts to videoes on youtube can be summed up to: “Well, everybody else is doing it…”. As the days of Techfestival went by the session became more and more in contrast to what the rest of techfestival was about. Making change. Taking responsibility.
So here is the problem. You can’t be half-value driven. It’s an either / or thing. You have to go all the way. So I’m left with the question of why this session was part of Techfestival? And whether Rainmaking and Talent Garden as main contributors to the Danish tech scene is truly committed to being agents of change? Or if it is another case of – as George Carlin so eloquently put it – just servicing the account.
By the way the session was really entertaining. Taylor is a brilliant and entertaining performer and he definitely knows his stuff. I guess there is a light (being creative and guerilla-ish) and a dark side (being exploitive and terrorist-ish) of growth hacking. This session gave a stellar introduction to the dark side of
the force, sorry, growth hacking, that I was previously unaware of. As a result, I got to reflect on which way my company and I will choose. And how easy it is to be seduced and go down the wrong path, as you try to iterate your way to success. May the force be with you!