Growth Hacks Gone Too Far

Advice for software companies looking to delight users

During my career, I’ve been a major fan of enterprise collaboration tools. I was always quite excited about trying new applications and recommending some of them to colleagues.  
Later, as I made my way into marketing I became very interested in the place where the disciplines of marketing and product intersect.  The “growth hacking” industry has become  quite popular and as it turns out somewhat ruthless in terms of what it will do to get new users to target.

Case in point, is a very popular design prototyping and collaboration product, InVision.  One of our partners introduced me to the software years ago. It is a very convenient way to showcase designs in progress to stakeholders.  Unfortunately, being on the receiving end of a share link to a project and choosing to comment on a design puts you in the crosshairs of their sales team.
I understand that the application currently requires you to create an account to comment on a design. It is a bridge too far to assume that everyone commenting is considering purchasing a tool for prototyping designs.
I’m all for ingenuity and creativity in trying to gain new users. I also think there is a balance to achieve between an individual’s privacy and right to work and not be prospected. There is an opportunity for InVision to pop a simple message to a user who has logged in to comment. Something like: 
“Hey there, We hope you’re enjoying the experience of working with our product to review a design with your team. Do you know anyone who might be interested in this product for their work? Please tell them about your experience!”
I’m not naive, but I am getting a bit jaded after seeing these tactics explode during the last decade. Let’s start a new trend of making sure people have a delightful experience and then making them feel special rather than jumping to what they can do for us.  


What examples have you seen from other organizations in this vein?  Please share in the comments.

Also published on Medium.