[43] Productizing a 2-Sided Marketplace w/ Mike Hardenbrook (Growth Geeks)

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Mike Hardenbrook is the co-founder of Growth Geeks, Growth Hacker TV and Workify.co.

There are many different properties in there but they are all intertwined as Mike will tell us.

Basically Growth Geeks is a marketplace for on-demand marketing service providers. It’s kind of marketplace for productized marketing services.

We cover a lot of ground as usual, got into the whole process of building this business starting with building a premium content site over Growth Hacker TV and how that pretty quickly evolved into a clear need for this type of marketplace. In off, Mike confessed to me they’ve grown above 6 figures a month in revenue, pretty exciting.

Mike shares how he and his partners manage the 2 sides of the marketplace, how they vet for quality and focus on the system for selling the service without getting too deeply involved in the day-to-day delivery which is where the freelancers and the agencies come in.

Mike went through the TechStars incubator/accelerator, and we talk about doing the transition from bootstrapping, self-funded, into the accelerator and Venture Capital.

Finally, we wrap up talking about Workify.co, which is a natural corollary for all of Mike’s projects. They’ve built this for agencies to white-label they services, which is another whole dimension to all this.

Enjoy!

Episode Notes

[1:53] Panorama of Mike’s projects. How Growth Hacker TV started, and how Growth Geeks developed from it.

  • “With Growth Hacker TV we recognized a wave coming in, and either you catch the wave too early, or you never catch it.”

[9:13] How to build a productized marketing services marketplace. How Growth Geeks originated, by listening what their audience was asking for.

  • “You keep hearing this over and over again, and we realized we had both the supply and the demand in our audience space.”
  • “On-demand marketing wasn’t a concept you would think about. I mean, Uber was still brand new [at the time]. We said: why we can’t do that for marketing?”

[18:59] Challenges that led to switch to a highly curated model.

  • “Marketplaces are tough. Is like building two products at once.”

[30:16] How Growth Geeks and Mike look like after TechStars.

  • “My claim to fame is that it is easier to get into Harvard than in to TechStars.”

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