How the best trigger growth today – with examples.

The Triggers for faster growth


Long-term sustainable growth is complex – it’s like flying a jumbo – lots of levers and buttons – getting the sequence right at the right time is critical to long-term performance. 

The critical focus usually is, 

  1. product and services improvements,
  2. business core – is operating in-balance – revenue to expenses control, balance sheet management, 
  3. marketing improvement, the core growth channels are working to best practices, 

The following businesses provide examples of how they have faced critical growth problems and won to become well-oiled growth engines. This newsletter provides ideas and frameworks to approach your business’s growth issues with more tools – so your team also can win more growth. 


Facebook from 2004 to 2015, growth story. 

  • Facebook was hitting the limit on English-speaking people. Implemented changes that automatically translated Facebook into hundreds of languages, and growth re-accelerated.
  • 2010-2011: mobile. People are getting smartphones. Facebook switched to mobile-friendly – initial forecast growth was to add 400 million people, it was over-2-billion-user. 


The original idea of Netflix didn’t work – hundreds of failed experiments later: tested the unlikely combination of – No due dates, no late fees – subscription service was born. Within days of testing it -growth exploded. Attention and engagement soared, and buyer churn went down. Everything started working. 


The first significant growth unlocks for Duolingo was launching mobile apps. Duolingo was initially a website. In October 2012, it launched the iPhone app, and it quickly became the number-one downloaded app in the education category. Then the Android app was in May 2013, about seven months after the iPhone app launch. At the end of 2013, Apple chose Duolingo as the iPhone app of the year.”


We learned to build supply and growth – suddenly, a new competitor was knocking on our door in the form of an exact European copycat. The competitor had just received $90 million in funding and ramped up to 400 employees in two months. 

The problem: if Airbnb lost the European market, they wouldn’t be in the business of travel. 

The Solutions 

  • First – it had to be regional and local,
  • In three months, they purchased top-level domains for nine countries, 
  • Assembled a global translation team, 
  • Moved from a single currency to a multi-currency payment platform.
  • Opened offices in eight European cities. 
  • Bought local smaller competitors – Accoleo and Crashpadder, 
  • PR blitz (to lift credibility, authority and trustability)
  • Marketing campaigns – ‘Rent the country of Liechtenstein on Airbnb.’


Marketplaces are winner-take-all markets. 



SaaS company called WiseTech. Their software – CargoWise, helps freight forwarders move products around the world. 2022 financials –

  • Revenue up 26% to $632.2m,
  • Free cash flow up 71% to $237.3m,
  • User attrition <1% and stable,

How do they achieve exceptional growth?

  • People: 50% of WiseTech’s team works on improving products and services,
  • Expenses: strict controls – sales are 10%-11% of annual costs,
  • Support: largely automated, 
  • Pricing: not subscription like most SaaS companies; they charge based on usage – as a customer’s productivity improves, WiseTech’s revenue grows.
  • New buyers: the focus is on direct sales and product innovations. 
  • Trigger events: that motivate changes to competitors – a lack of innovation when changes occur – Wisetech is fast to market to keep their buyers up to date. 
  • Referral program: affiliate marketing, 
  • Certification programs: train clients’ employees on how best to implement and get the most from their software, 
  • Strategic acquisitions: can save years of product development, bring new revenue, and gain access to new geographic markets.
  • Adjacent acquisitions: integrates the software and adds new features to their existing offers.