25 golden nuggets from Drift's #HYPERGROWTH18

This is a longer post than my usual ones so stick with me here. I've had an amazing day full of lessons on brand, marketing, PR and customer relationship at #HYPERGROWTH18 that I wanted to write a detailed recap with easy to share takeaways. If you are busy and would like to skip to the list directly, scroll to part 2 at the bottom. If you want to get the full story, read on. Thank you!

Part 1:  

I just got back from an incredible B2B tech conference in Boston on Tuesday called "HYPERGROWTH18". It was a serendipitous decision to tweet about Drift that led their CEO David Cancel to personally invite me and my friend/fellow founder to the conference. The tweet is 4 months old when I didn't know much about DC and/or their company but over time I've grown to love this man's vision and style of authentic leadership.  

If the entire experience of this one-day conference has to be summed up into one sentence, it is this: HYPER BUT HUMAN. 

Great brands are incredible storytellers at the core like great people. One of the things that makes them great is that they "choose" to lift others up consistently and lead way to a better and brighter future. I flew into Boston from Atlanta with an open mind to learn from the incredible line-up of 13 speakers and to interact in person with the people behind the brand Drift.

At the end of it, I walked away feeling HYPER impressed at how the conference was planned and executed: the spectacular venue, the stage, the remarkable speaker line-up from a wide variety of brands, the food, the hospitality shown by the organizing staff. It was tremendously inspiring. 

I was also fascinated by how HUMAN the entire conference felt. The interactions were authentic. Almost all of the speakers were real and honest. The humility shown in big and little moments was contagious starting with key people like DC, Elias, DG all the way to the staff helping confused guests. Shout out to Sara for being an incredible host and taking care of us. Another example of being human was how the team handled the issue when one of the speakers surprised the audience with regressive gibberish and un-inspiring brash talk on stage. Of course, Twitter blew up right away and everybody seemed confused. Even I tweeted about it. And within minutes, the organizers reacted thoughtfully to people's tweets, took extreme ownership and corrected publicly via an apology on stage. Most people would have shied away but DC and the team didn't. That's what made them a bit more human if you ask me.

One of the world's most incredible designers, Jony Ive (CDO of Apple) famously says:

"People sense care. "

On my way back from the event, that's the first quote that came to my mind as I was reflecting of my overall experience. It is always hard and tedious to care about customers and partners at scale but if you want to build an everlasting brand the likes of Apple, care is a non-negotiable feature. And Drift demonstrated how inspirational brand building is hard but not impossible in the very crowded B2B space.

Part 2:

Here are 25 of my favorite nuggets captured from all of the sessions at Hypergrowth:

  1. "In a world of infinite supply, companies can no longer differentiate on features, brand is the only true marketing advantage today.” — David Cancel

  2. "They don't waste energy on things they can't control." (one of 13 things Mentally Strong People Don't Do) — Amy Morin   

  3. "While humans love a good story, it's the characters that we crave."  — Ryan Deiss

  4. “Nobody is writing new stories only new characters.“  — Ryan Deiss

  5. "Let go of glory and run the risk of failure to be current." — Chaka Pilgrim 

  6. "Let people who are seeking to be better feed your soul and spirit." — Chaka Pilgrim 

  7. "The window to succeed in music is as small as your ego is big."— Chaka Pilgrim 

  8. "Buy a few shares of a publicly traded company in a similar industry as yours and pay close attention to their finances. Even if it’s a hundred dollars down, the investment is worth the education you’ll gain". — Mike Volpe 

  9. "The best form of marketing is edutainment." — Andy Mackensen (SnackNation) 

  10. “If you are in a position of power, have empathy, care and be there for the people and listen.” —  Aly Raisman

  11. “Doing the right thing & speaking out against people who don’t want to do the right thing or don’t care about others’ safety is more important to me than the Olympic medals. “ — Aly Raisman

  12. "First they don't respect you, then they troll you, then they copy you and then you win. "  — David Cancel

  13. “Everything in the past was built around LATER. But we don’t live in later. We live in NOW. “ — David Cancel

  14. “Connecting with the people you’re trying to serve is the first step in making positive change.”  — Paul English 

  15. “Find a good storyteller, listen, give ‘till it hurts, give unrestricted, tell their story.” -   — Paul English 

  16. "I am an accidental success with 19 years of making videos". — Casey Neistat

  17. "Customers today have absolute free agency. The only way to reach them is put something in front of them that they actually wants to see. That they actually care." — Casey Neistat

  18. "Everybody fights. Fight your fight". — George Foreman III  

  19. "Acknowledge blame but choose ownership. Acknowledge fear but choose faith. Acknowledge imitation but choose authenticity." — George Foreman III  

  20. "You can learn anything if you are willing to sound like a complete moron. — Molly Graham

  21. "The impostor syndrome is real. Don't let it eat you alive."— Molly Graham

  22.  "Find the slingshot, pick a fight you can win, and admit when something’s not working."— Barney Waters (@KSWISS)

  23. “Practice Extreme Ownership.” —Jocko Willink

  24. "When you are in a really challenging situation, step back from chaos, mayhem and even your own emotions and DETACH to make better decisions." —Jocko Willink

  25. "Discipline = Freedom." —Jocko Willink