About Me

Several remarks regarding my story as a marketer and venture entrepreneur. Learn more about this website, the data sources, definitions and methodology I adhere. Get in touch and stay tuned for updates.

Hey folks,

My name is John Popel; I’ve been doing marketing since 2000. I used to work for brick-and-mortar shops and retail chains, HoReCa and food retail equipment suppliers, brick-and-clicks retailers, home furnishing services companies, SaaS platforms, e-commerce. Right now, I specialize in helping startups with growth hacking (user acquisition), customer success management (retention) and conversion. You might check my profile on Angel.co for details.

I’ve made this website BenchHacks.com to keep my work notes concise, structured and organized in one place. If you do marketing for the US startups yourself, feel free to avail. Don’t hesitate to reach me via FB or email if you have something cool in mind.

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There are several vital unifications must be clarified to keep the use of given data at maximum efficiency. First is the unified definition of a startup. Second is the overview of its development stages. And finally, the understanding of traction.

Startup - is an entrepreneurial venture that complies with the three criteria:
• newly emerged (no older than 2-3 years);
• fast growing (+87% YoY growth in revenue or/and +20% MoM in user database);
• constituting an innovative (more in demand) product, service or platform.

Typically, such entrepreneurial venture grows through the following startup lifecycle stages:
• Formation - the phase of conception, forming hypotheses of value and growth, building a first minimum viable product (MVP).
• Validation - the phase of proofing both hypothesis of value and growth, product and market fitting (or pivoting, if necessary).
• Growth - the phase of scaling and business model expansion.

To manage a startup development through those stages startup marketers and founders utilize a specific metrics of startup’s success - a massive adoption of the startup’s product, service or platform. Those metrics are called ‘the traction’ and usually represents growth (user acquisition/conversion) and engagement (retention/conversion). This website might give you traction benchmarks overview up-to-date and share some hints about hacking a growth of your startup.

Albeit, bear in mind, all those marketing data, startup metrics and growth hacks relate to the United States market only. Though they can be applied for other T1 countries (US, UK, CA, AU, NZ), these metrics don’t represent traction benchmarks for startups and companies in T2 and T3 regional markets.

And finally, please, don’t fall into the cognitive bias of the availability heuristic. In place of relevant benchmarks, founders and investors often encounter myths presented as fact: 22% week-on-week growth for Facebook, 20% for Groupon and 17% for Airbnb. What those stories usually do not uncover are the nuances behind those stories of success. Airbnb founders spent years getting themselves into credit card debt (then selling political-themed cereal to get themselves out) before their storied growth curve began. Groupon was a struggling activism engine that tested coupons as a skunkworks project to keep the lights on before they pivoted to real growth. Facebook was a side project for Zuckerberg who initially accepted ad revenue to offset the $85 per month server space he rented.

So if you work on/for a startup, keep resilient and inspired, watch Silicon Valley TV show and subscribe to my newsletter for useful stuff :)

Cheers,

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