You have a marvelous invention of the social network Feetbook, whose features will undoubtedly engulf the bullshit Facebook. The one thing is that if you do not have 4 million users then people will not see the advantages of that top-notch product. But to get 4 million users, it takes too much money to rent a server, pay the operation team and run programs to attract users. Investors only spend money when you have a large enough user …

You discover that when your sales are large enough, you can claim a discount of up to 48% on that product. Then, just give a part of that amount to customers (discounted price) by 20%, for example, the sales will increase dramatically and you will become the top billionaire in Vietnam. But the problem is that even with such a discount, to let customers know, and to operate the system from receiving orders to delivery, you will need the system that will spend a lot of money on warehousing, ground, IT, human resources, transportation, quality control … And investors just want to spend money when they are sure a bit, meaning that there are a sufficient number of customers or revenue that you are not just sure good at slashing …

You have a perfect technology call application and a great win-win-win business philosophy. Drivers are more divided while customers pay less, investors also get more profits per capital, and the environment is better because cars run less, less traffic congestion, less pollution. than. Suffering is that the system only works effectively when there are enough customers. But in order to serve customers, they need to have the number of cars and drivers ready at the places they need. And drivers only get involved when there are enough customers, a ride and the sales are attractive enough. Where is the money to build and compensate for the parties when the system has not reached the breakeven point …

Đó là những ví dụ đơn giản về hội chứng mà người ta gọi là “Con gà & Quả trứng”. Và cái vòng luẩn quẩn ấy là cản trở lớn nhất trong việc biến ý tưởng thành lợi nhuận. Cái mà tôi tạm gọi là Khả năng thực thi.

Đa phần những người khởi nghiệp cũng sẽ dừng chân tại đây. Khoảng cách giữa một Thiên tài chém gió và một Khởi nghiệp kỳ lân thực sự cũng được xác định bởi việc họ có khả năng giải quyết vấn đề này trong thực tế hay không?

Dĩ nhiên, ta hoàn toàn có thể bước từng bước một chậm rãi tích luỹ về lượng, xây dựng từng phần của hệ sinh thái để mong một ngày thay đổi về chất. Thế nhưng, không phải ngành nào cũng cho phép chờ đợi như thế. Và thời nay, thậm chí khi bạn đã sắp đến gần đích, thì rất có thể ai đó sẽ nhảy dù vào và hớt hết lớp kem béo ngậy trên chiếc bánh thành công của bạn.


Đó là lý do mà ta phải làm NHANH. Và theo một cách phi-truyền-thống vì nếu làm theo cách thông thường thì sẽ quá chậm và đắt. Cách thức ban đầu được dùng nhiều trong khởi nghiệp công nghệ ấy sau này có tên gọi là Growth-hacking và dần được dùng cho một số ngành phi công nghệ khác qua trung gian lan truyền là các quỹ đầu tư. Khái niệm này cũng dần được khai thác từ nhiều khía cạnh chuyên môn khác chứ không nhất thiết chỉ là marketing (tìm kiếm và chuyển hoá thành công khách hàng/người dùng tiềm năng).

Growth-hacking: có cách nào để có được lượng khách hàng (người dùng) ban đầu đủ lớn với chi phí thấp nhất có thể hay không, kể cả bằng việc chấp nhận tạm bỏ qua (hy sinh) những mục tiêu quan trọng khác?

Một vài ví dụ tiêu biểu về ứng dụng thành công growth-hacking, kể cả khi lúc ấy chưa có khái niệm ấy:

1. Facebook originally posted pictures of girls and let people vote. As a result, many students join, then spread to their family members, and many others. VCCorp’s Lotus social network uses tokens to attract KOLs, then uses KOLs to attract members, uses the number of members to attract content producers and ad units according to the target customers.
2. FPT in the past has allowed the posting of XXX stories and jokes with different levels on the Vietnam Intelligence forum. And thanks to that get a huge amount of initial office users.
3. VNG takes advantage of the huge amount of game players to get a good start for Zalo. Until now, Zalo still “forced” users to become friends if they save each other’s phone numbers.

4. Grab converts customers who ride into e-wallet customers with discount coupons, and then converts those e-wallet customers into buyers and users of their other services ( such as GrabFood) ignores one of the two biggest obstacles of e-commerce in Vietnam. Earlier, when it first penetrated the Vietnamese market, Grab had associated with a number of taxi companies (or at least the driving group) to get the first eggs.
5. GoldenGate / Redsun / Vin and many other chain brands offer discounts if you use your loyalty card and system brand, so that new brands / products in the same system benefit from customer obstructions. “trial” availability is much lower.
6. Passio, Highland and many coffee chains use very cheap, “really & delicious” black / milk coffee prices (as compared to other small local options) to pull customers to the store. And make a profit from other products like smoothies, juices or spring water. Trung Nguyen used “national pride” to scrape up a certain initial number of guests.

These are cases of growth – hacking in a relatively legal manner, or at least within a gray area limit that the target customer segment of those brands is “acceptable”. In fact, there are many cases of torn fence, or even illegal, have been used in some places to expect to grow as fast as Phu Dong. Please do not name those cases, although I am sure that any of the readers can also mention some brands that have “missed hands” for the purpose of development.

In the past, people used to think of the safe type C2T3 (Cue, slowly progress). But when the number of enterprises “think differently – do differently” and succeed in the T2S3 model (Large first, remodel later) is increasing, people start to excessively follow the stereotypes.

They forget that the reason Growth-hacking is successful in some industries is because:

a. The cost to have one more customer of that industry is not high due to the unique way, the available advantage of the system (or loan).

b. The proportion of variable cost in the cost structure to successfully serve an order is low and the average selling price can always be higher than the product cost. As a result, each point of sale is always effective even though the business may still be at a loss.

Another way to better track this criterion is to identify the most critical resource in your business model and compare the cost of it with the financial benefits it brings. For example, in warehouse industry it could be “average revenue generated of 1m3 of warehouse volume”. In the supermarket retail industry, it is the “revenue (or profit margin) per square meter of space”. In the restaurant and cafe industry, it is “revenue (or profit margin) per m2 of floor space per hour”. Even so, compare the cost per unit area or volume used in units of time (of course, after allocating the depreciation of investments to them).

At that time, the hot development in scale to reach the level of investment capital (from funds or individuals) is basically acceptable, though not necessarily absolutely safe. And when you have the necessary capital, you can invest to be financially efficient, or continue growing to get ready for the next round of funding as your personal choice and depending on the nature of your products and services.

In the case of some recent F&B and retail chains, the initial investment costs for premises, infrastructure, amenities, etc. are too high compared to the financial benefits gained from that area / volume. In the same unit of time, basically, no matter how much you invest, the growth-hacking struggles, you will only go from hole to hole.

A tool, concept or model, no matter how advanced, is never perfect and right for all. As pity for our own money, we need to be very careful when choosing for ourselves a “magical tonic ladder”. Because the one who receives the first result will be ourselves and the people beside us.


Written by Tran Bang Viet

Editor: Doocvii