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Growth hacking real talk, RPA market slowdown, AI and IP • TechCrunch

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I dislike using the phrase “growth hacking” to describe the work required to fine-tune marketing campaigns and systems. In truth, successful marketers iterate constantly, measuring and testing their efforts to minimize waste and maximize ROI.

Finding new ways to get people into a sales funnel isn’t like using a pair of sunglasses for a phone kickstand or reusing an old ketchup bottle to make splatter-free pancakes. In reality, growth hacking consists of testing new ideas on an ongoing basis.


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“If each test can result in a 1% improvement, you’re well on your way to 100% improvement after running 100 tests,” writes Jonathan Martinez, a self-described “marketing nerd” who has driven growth at Uber, Postmates and chime.

The best way to find marketing hacks is by using “stringent experimentation frameworks to run countless A/B tests,” he advises. This article includes a RICE (reach, impact, confidence and effort) scoring spreadsheet, along with his thoughts on acquisition and activation growth hacking.

“It’s important to remember there’s no such thing as hacking growth. Instead, you should be thinking about how you can run 100 tests to move the needle forward.”

Thanks very much for reading,
Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
@yourprotagonist

TechCrunch Disrupt 2022: Taking the BS Out of Your TAM

Every founder should understand the sector they intend to compete in, but calculating Total Addressable Market (TAM) is a daunting process, especially for first-timers.

In reality, TAM is just a planning tool that gives potential investors a better understanding of a company’s upside potential.

Next week at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, I’ll host a discussion with three investors to find out how they think about TAM and what they’re looking for during a pitch:

  • Kara Northman, managing partner, Upfront Ventures
  • Aydin Senkut, founder and managing partner, Felicis Ventures
  • Deena Shakir, partner, Lux Capital

I’ll ask them to share tactics and strategies for finding TAM, how to calculate it for new products and services, and to disclose some of the the red flags they see most often from novice entrepreneurs.

Make sure to bring warm layers if you’re visiting SF for Disrupt — and if you can’t make it, I hope you’ll join us online.

5 key IP considerations for AI startups

light bulb with combination lock;  patent application

Image Credits: talaj (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

No one thinking rationally would leave a briefcase of cash behind in a restaurant, but entrepreneurs who don’t protect IP derived from their AI innovations are being just as careless.

“Disclosure of technology, whether planned at a conference or a partner meeting, or unplanned and incidental, may cause a forfeiture of patent rights,” warn Eric L. Sophir and Matthew Horton, both IP lawyers at Foley & Lardner LLP.

In this highly detailed explainer, the duo use plain language to help readers understand which types of innovation are patentable and why “conventional contractual agreements may be obsolete.”

Is the RPA market in trouble?

Business process management with flowchart to improve efficiency and productivity.  Manager analyzing workflow on computer screen to implement robotic automation (RPA)

Image Credits: NicoElNino / Getty Images

The growth rate for robotic process automation (RPA) startups has ebbed since the onset of the downturn. As evidence, consider Automation Anywhere, which recently closed a $200 million loan instead of raising a new funding round.

“RPA vendors’ sales teams tout the many benefits of RPA, like freeing up staff to do more meaningful tasks and refreshing legacy IT infrastructure,” writes Kyle Wiggers.

“But what they don’t mention is that implementing an RPA solution often proves challenging.”

Could corporates be good matchmakers for startups and VCs?

Image Credits: Kinsei-TGS/Getty Images

When spinning up an initiative to connect startups that use its software with VC funding, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince “initially hoped for $100 million to $250 million in commitments, just to have something substantial to announce,” reported Rebecca Szkutak.

Last week, Cloudflare unveiled a $1.25 billion funding program that will incentivize companies to build on its serverless computing platform (and eat into AWS’ market share).

“Companies entering this program, regardless of whether they get pitched to VCs, do get multiple software features for a year for free,” which could be a real boon for some bootstrapped companies.

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