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How Things Grow

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#6 Ascent of a language learning phenomenon - with Gina Gotthilf(Duolingo, ex Tumblr)

In this episode, we talk about how technology & gamification have dramatically eased the process of language learning. We go behind the scenes of the meteoric growth of the language learning app Duolingo. My guest today is Gina Gotthilf, the VP of Growth at Duolingo.Duolingo has had a dramatic growth trajectory over the last few years. It’s gone from 3 million installs to 200 million installs, doing very little paid marketing or advertising. Gina and her team drove much of this growth....


#5 The early days of ridesharing & bikesharing - with Dan Riaz(ScaleUp Labs, 500 startups, ex Lyft, ex Zynga).

In this episode of How Things Grow, we revisit the early days or ridesharing - and look at how bikesharing is beginning to evolve. My guest today is my good friend Dan Riaz. Dan’s had a checkered career and an interesting life. Dan managed mobile acquisition at Zynga just when Zynga started to shift its business from web to mobile. He then joined Lyft when they were in just 4 cities to head up their mobile user acquisition. At Lyft, he saw from close up the ascension of the ridesharing...


The Art Of The Conference - with Jay Weintraub(, Mobile Apps Unlocked, LeadsCon, Contact.Io, InsureTech Connect, HRTransform)

Welcome to this week’s episode of How Things Grow! In this episode we explore the business of conferences, and of bringing people together. My guest today is Jay Weintraub, who is a true master of the art of the conference. Jay is a man who has started and grown 5 conferences in wildly different industries - mobile apps, call marketing, HR, lead generation and insurance. His conferences are such well-oiled machines and attended by thousands of people - and I’ve always wanted to sit down...


Invite-a-friend flows, rapid testing & more - with Dominic 'DistroDom' Coryell(Grabr, ex 500 Startups, ex Talkable)

Welcome to this week’s episode of How Things Grow! In this episode we dive into the mechanics of ‘invite a friend’ flows - or referral marketing, testing ideas quickly and much much more. My guest today is the amazing Dominic 'DistroDom' Coryell. Dom founded his first company GarmentValet while he was still in college. He then founded the Talkable, which is one of the leading referral marketing companies in the world. He then became a partner at 500 startups, in which capacity he advised...


Inside invites, surveys, fitness & viral growth - with Selina Tobaccowala(Gixo, ex SurveyMonkey, ex Evite).

Welcome to this week’s episode of How Things Grow! In this episode we dive into the nuances of how products go viral, about how companies and cultures are built for the long term - and much much more. [Before we get into this week’s episode, I do want to apologize for the unforeseen situation that caused last week’s episode to be taken down a few hours after it went live. As some of you know, folks from Zynga requested that the episode be taken off air since they were in an investor quiet...


#1 - The rise, decline and settling-down of daily deals - with Adam Lovallo(, ex LivingSocial)

It's finally here! After months of procrastination and fantasizing - and many more months of eventual research, reachouts, edits and agonizing.... the first episode of the How Things Grow podcast is here! My guest today is a man whom I’ve admired for a long time. Adam Lovallo runs some of the best-attended conferences in the mobile apps space.But before Adam started his first conference, he cut his teeth in the whirlwind that was the daily deals space. He worked at LivingSocial, where he...


#0 - Coming Soon: How Things Grow

How Things Grow tells the stories of the people who help companies, technologies and economic systems take off. Each episode features an interview with one of the leading growth practitioners, entrepreneurs, experts or historians in the world today. How Things Grow is presented by Shamanth Rao, mobile growth leader and writer. Shamanth is the VP of Growth at FreshPlanet, and led or managed growth leading up to two acquisitions in the past. He also was the travel editor of Mint...