Growth Isn’t an Assembly Line

September 16, 2020

Cross-functional collaboration. We all know it’s key to building better products, yet so many companies take a siloed approach to growth as if it’s an assembly line.

In B2B software, for example, growth often goes from station to station as it’s passed off between different teams at different stages: marketing to sales, then to customer success and hopefully beyond. Now that so much is changing with the customer journey, companies are starting to ask how they should modify this assembly line or even reassemble it.

Here’s the thing: Growth isn’t an assembly line.

On a recent episode of the BUILD Podcast, host Blake Bartlett noted that companies should look at growth as more of a basketball team—rather than moving from station to station, pass the ball around. “There’s collaboration across different functions and roles,” Blake explained. “And the goal is clear: We want to score a basket, but the way we get there is not linearly.”

Brian Rothenberg, who’s currently a Partner at the early-stage venture capital firm Defy, joined Blake for this episode and agreed with the basketball analogy. He added that he frequently sees marketing teams unfairly having to own retention numbers.

“Often in marketing teams, the only levers might be email or maybe notifications from mobile, but it’s so much more expansive than that. It’s the product solving the core need. Where are the pain points? Where’s the friction? How are our interactions with customer service? Is that helping endear our customers to us further, or is it hurting?” Brian said. “So couldn’t agree more—it’s just all of these pieces moving together, and it’s better done when these folks are constantly working together.”

In addition to the rise of cross-functional teams, growth teams are evolving and changing a ton right now. Listen to the episode below to hear Brian and Blake discuss this as well as:

  • How Eventbrite’s growth model created a viral loop that led to massive success
  • How to go about building a distribution advantage and the biggest pitfalls of people who haven’t done this

Listen to the episode

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Managing Editor<br>OpenView

Kristin joined OpenView after spending over four years at InVision managing their Inside Design publication and helping build brand love as chief storyteller, lead producer and editor. Before InVision, she co-founded the digital strategy agency Four Kitchens, spent several years in the restaurant industry as a chef, and was Editor-in-Chief of the nation’s largest college humor publication, the Texas Travesty, as an undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin.