Web3 Wild West Growth Hacking

The growth hacking movement evolved from Silicon Valley at the end of the last century.

Then Airbnb launched perhaps the most infamous of all growth hacks – exploiting a vulnerability in Craigslist's code that gave hosts the option to republish their Airbnb listings to Craiglist with a single click, using the latter's traffic to fast track Airbnb's user growth.


Y-Combinator alum Dropbox is using referral marketing to grow its user base. According to founder Drew Houston, when the cloud storage pioneer launched a referral campaign that rewarded referrers and referrals with 500MB of free storage, signups increased by 60 percent. Keep in mind, this was late last century, when many.

Applying rapid experimentation, technology, and low-cost but high-impact techniques to drive mass user signups is known as growth hacking – a term coined by marketer and GrowthHackers.com founder Sean Ellis (listen to my conversation below with Sean).

Episode 156: Growth Hacking with Sean Ellis Sean Ellis is the CEO and founder of GrowthHackers.com, the #1 online community for growth hackers. He created …… www.nofilter.media

Scripts containing hundreds of B2C and B2B growth techniques are springing up.

Many of these plays worked …… for a while.

But as with most things, what works for company X may not work for company Y, or what works in 2015 may not work in 2022.

Times have changed.

Customer expectations have changed.

For example, automating LinkedIn messages to drive B2B prospecting may have worked in 2017, but now, when it seems everyone and his dog knows how to use such bots, people's inboxes are saturated. Most messages that emit even the most distant sales stench are ignored.

But now, as we slowly but surely (?) into the world of Web3, new scripts and strategies are emerging.

One such tactic was demonstrated earlier this month when LooksRare, the new NFT marketplace, launched its "vampire attack.


Given the open and transparent nature of transactions on the ethereum blockchain (or any blockchain), LooksRare can directly target competitors and users of OpenSea, the leading NFT marketplace.

Anyone who traded 3 ETH or more on OpenSea between June 16 and December 16 could redeem 125 $LOOKS tokens (equivalent to about $600 at the time) provided they had NFTs up for sale on RareLooks.

LooksRare effectively "airdrops" $400 million worth of native $LOOKS tokens – decentralized companies that can be printed almost out of thin air, but can be traded in actual ETH or FIAT currencies.

Within just three weeks of launch, the platform now has over 25,000 users and has completed over $2 billion in transaction volume. Admittedly, some of this volume is due to LooksRare users trading NFTs with themselves for trading rewards.


This is the significant difference between Web2 and Web3.

Web2 maintains its customer information in a CRM, private database and/or email marketing database.

While Web3 companies may still do this, their user information is publicly available on platforms such as Etherscan.

However, it's not enough to just get users – you must provide a top-notch user experience and incentives to retain them.

As Airbnb knows, its North Star metric is not the number of nights booked. nights back, as the latter is a more compelling indicator of user experience.

LooksRare did not disappoint.

First, it provides people with a user interface that is arguably better than OpenSea.

Second, unlike OpenSea, which is actually a web2 company selling Web3 assets, it supports decentralized value – it is the $LOOKS token that effectively represents the part of the action where users can pledge their $LOOKS and get an average of 600% return.

Finally, unlike OpenSea, which charges a 2.5% fee per transaction, LooksRare lets its users share its 2% transaction fee.

There are many strong incentives to buy $LOOKS tokens, trade NFTs on LooksRare, and hold your tokens through pledges.

Given that token economics (or the economics of token distribution) is at the heart of Web3 organizations and can include incentives that appeal to innate human emotional and behavioral drivers, the novel use of tokens can provide such organizations with significant advantages to drive customer growth.

This is the first of many growth hacks we will undoubtedly see in the burgeoning space of Web3.

What other Web3 growth techniques have you seen or thought of?

Steve Glaveski is CEO of Collective Campus, author of Time Rich, Employee to Entrepreneur, contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and host of the Future Squared podcast. An occasional surfer. Find him online @steveglaveski