Part 2: Growth hackers and marketers to follow in 2017


Let us start this post right from where we left off last week and jump to the good stuff. In contrast to previous, independent posts, this is the second post in our mini series ‘Growth Hackers and Marketers to follow in 2017’.

Find the first post here where we introduce nine names that you should keep an eye on in 2017. Some of them include: Neil Patel, Hana Abaza, Nir Eyal, and Vincent Dignan.

So, as promised previously, we will now provide you with the rest of the masterminds on our list, and the first one is…

Andrew Chen

Our list would not be complete if we did not include Andrew Chen. He is part of Uber’s growth team where he runs the rider acquisition programs.

Apart from that he is also an advisor for several tech startups some of which include Dropbox, Tinder, ProductHunt and AngelList. Yes, Andrew Chen is a busy man, involved in more projects than any of us would be able to fit into our daily schedule, unless we would work two full working days every 24 hours like Vincent Dignan.

Being the master of growth at Uber is quite an achievement in itself, but this is not the only thing that will jump at you as you go through Andrew Chen’s impressive CV. In the past, he was at Mohr Davidow Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based company, and prior to that he was part of Audience Science as Director of Product Marketing.

Check his blog for lots of interesting reads about growth.

Ryan Holiday

As a college dropout, probably only a few would have predicted that Ryan Holiday once would be featured in a list like this, but now he is here, and it is with good reasons.

Throughout the past years, Ryan Holiday has been able to put his name on several book covers. He is the author of Ego is the Enemy, Growth Hacker Marketing and several others. And all while being an author, he has also advised giants like Google and numerous bestselling authors.

The list of media outlets he has written for is endless, but some of the major ones include the New York Observer, The Huffington Post, Forbes, and Journalism Review. But what does he write about? Actually, the topics vary, as Ryan Holiday writes about everything from life hacks to philosophy, self-development, humility and strategy. Believe it or not, but this combination is pretty awesome.

Gabriel Weinberg

Meet the co-author of Traction: How any startup can achieve explosive customer growth, Gabriel Weinberg. The authorship of this book would actually be enough reason to follow him in 2017 as this book is an absolute must-read. But while we are at it, let us just mention a few other accomplishments.

You might only know him as the co-author of Traction, but actually he is also the CEO and founder of DuckDuck Go. Never heard of it? It is a search engine that provides users private browsing while offering personalised results. As Gabriel Weinberg says: “it’s the search engine that doesn’t track you”.

Find his blog on Medium where he writes about topics such as marketing channels and, of course, online privacy. Surprise!

Matthew Barby

Be prepared to be blown away as we introduce Matthew Barby, Global Head of Growth and SEO at HubSpot. Some of his other titles include award-winning digital marketing consultant, startup advisor, global speaker, and lecturer. And the things that people in the industry say about him only confirm that he deserves these titles.

However, he would not have such a great reputation without a proven track record. For instance, he has worked with Wyatt International, WOW Internet, and several Blue Chip companies to develop growth strategies with great result.

Just like some of the other names on our list, Matthew Barby is a regular writer for several publications, some of which include Moz, Marketing Land, and Search Engine Journal. Go check his blog and meet the king of HubSpot in person.

Yee Lee

In contrast to some of the others, Yee Lee might not seem like the obvious choice for this list, but after we have introduced you to him, you will see why it is that he qualifies to be part of this mastermind community.

As current product manager at Facebook, 4x founder, over 60 angel investments in technology companies, 8 acquisition exists and an IPO (initial public offering), the numbers provide plenty of justification for why you should follow Yee Lee in 2017.

Not yet convinced? Wait! He has 20+ years experience in web product design, coding, and launch, which he has gained working for companies like Google, Skype, PayPal, Slide, TaskRabbit and many more.

In the investment world, he is characterised as the next super angel, so you might want to follow him to see if this holds true. Well, we truly believe in his potential.

Jon Tien

In 2014, San Francisco startup Kicthensurfing could welcome its new CEO, Jon Tien after he had been advising the company for several years.

Prior to taking the helm at Kitchensurfing, Jon Tien was Senior VP of Product at Zynga for over 4 years. Here he was responsible for product management organisation, user acquisition, analytics, and product strategy.

No doubt he has lots of experience that he can bring along to achieve great things at Kitchensurfing. And as a bonus, he also happens to have a passion for food, being an experimental home cook. This work relationship seems to define a perfect match!

Sean Ellis

We have mentioned him in several previous posts as “the godfather of growth hacking”. Raise your hands as we introduce Sean Ellis. The man who coined the term Growth Hacking.

With only limited space, it will be difficult to cover all the reasons why you should follow Sean Ellis in 2017 if you are not already doing it. First of all, he is the CEO at, and prior to that he was CEO at Qualaroo and growth/marketing executive at Eventbrite, Dropbox, Lookout, Uproar (IPO), and LogMeIn (IPO).

If that were not enough, he has also written for several well-known news publications, including The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote this piece The Rise of the Growth Hacker. On top of this he written for Forbes, TechCrunch, Fast Company,  and Wired all while he has had several speaking request on marketing and growth worldwide.  

If you think this is it, it is not! We have a BONUS SECTION prepared for you! The growth hacking scene is not only populated with American growth hackers. Europe, and in particular, Belgium is home to quite a few that we would like to highlight as well. Three of them follows here, and the first one is…

Cain Ransbottyn

Belgians might have a certain reputation: conservative, stuck in old patterns and not really daring to paint outside the lines (metaphorically). However, if there is someone who has the guts to shatter this picture, it is Cain Ransbottyn.

He is not just a chief digital officer, marketer, social media evangelist, a sales or project manager, but a combination of all them with a very broad technical background that covers corporate strategy, marketing, technology, and innovation.

One of his absolute core strengths lies in driving growth by converting traditional analog businesses into digital ones. And not to forget, he is a huge fan of growth hacking which clearly shows in the way he has managed to create a name for himself. Follow him right here.

Yannick Khayati

Marketing integration specialist, online marketer, innovation solution designer, digital hustler and now growth expert and managing partner at The Growth Revolution. Meet Yannick Khayati.

With a focus on conversation rate optimization, the use of alternative and new traction channels, and proven growth hacks, he helps startups to kick-off their growth and turns corporates into growth machines with new marketing tactics.

Apart from advising large corporates like Bpost, Cartamundi, Sanoma Media, Materialise and Sappi, he is also a speaker, lecturer, mentor, and writer and have appeared in several growth marketing publications. Check some of his writings on our blog.

Omar Mohout

We end this piece introducing tech entrepreneur, mentor and advisor Omar Mohout. Though it might seem contradictory, coming from a growth engineer, he approach projects with a “hands-off unless requested” mentality.

He has several years of experience with executing go-to-market strategies, especially focusing on scaling web based and cloud services. Apart from that, Omar Mohout has managed to become a known face within the startup world where he has helped set up advisory boards to accelerate the growth of numerous startups.

His involvement in the startup landscape also shows in his writings, which mostly deals with tech and startups. For instance, a couple of years ago, he wrote Lean Pricing: Pricing Strategies for Startups.

So, here you have it. The second part of our mini series Growth hackers and marketers to follow in 2017. If you have not had the chance to see the full list, go check the first part here.

Is there anyone we forgot? Share them with us in the comments. We would love to hear who you follow in 2017.

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