Note: I don’t review substandard books. I read a lot. I don’t have a lot of time to review books, so what I do share, I’m sharing because the book has been very influential and helpful to me in my life, and I believe it will also help others. If you are a marketer or entrepreneur, these are must reads.


Quick links/info:

How to know if this book can help you:

  • You’ve heard of growth hacking and growth hacker marketing but you’re not sure what it’s all about.
  • You don’t have a lot of time to learn about growth hacking, but you need to get educated on it–fast.
  • You want to read anything and everything to do with growth hacking.
  • You’re looking for a better way to boost your marketing, at low cost, and you’re out of ideas.
  • You want more marketing results without huge costs, or dramatic marketing results at any cost.


First, a note about 3 star reviews. If I give a book 3 stars, that doesn’t mean I’m giving it a “C” or that I see a 3 as halfway between a 1 and a 5. A book that earns a 3 from me is still a book I like a lot. But I only give 5 stars to books that are, imo, critically important for everyone to read and very, very good. If a book is very, very good, and critically important for certain people to read, or pretty darn good and critically important for everyone to read, it gets a 4. If it’s pretty darn good and critically important for some people to read, it gets a 3. If it’s not so good, or I don’t feel like it’s important for anyone to read, it gets a 2. So Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday is still something that’s pretty darn good and critically important for some people (marketers, entrepreneurs, etc.) to read. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

What Growth Hacker Marketing is not, is a lengthy history of growth hacking, scores of case studies, and detailed instructions on how to engage in growth hacking and clever marketing. It’s an introduction to growth hacking, and it’s quite short, only 144 pages. You can read it in a sitting. But if it’s short on pages, it’s long on value in the few words Holiday uses to get his points across. And the book itself and the marketing campaign that accompanied it is an excellent case study in growth hacker marketing. You can get some insight into Holiday’s personal marketing tactics herehere, here, and here. If you’re planning on writing a book and want tips on how to market it, Holiday is your muse, and this book will help you get started. But Holiday, and his book, is also your muse regardless of what you’re marketing. As he points out in the book, growth hacking is not a list of tactics, it’s a mindset. Once you adopt the mindset, you’ll be able to create your own tactics. This book won’t be the end of your journey, but it’s a good beginning.