Top 10 Books on Growth and Growth-Hacking

It is hard to believe that there once was a time when Airbnb, Pinterest, or LinkedIn didn’t even exist, let alone became household names for virtually every individual in society today. 

There was a time where these companies were just niche websites frequented by select groups of people, but now their success is undeniable as they have revolutionized how we travel as well as our ability to create things while also providing a platform for finding new jobs all over the world.

What is the secret behind how these companies became so successful? 

Contrary to popular belief, they didn’t just explode to worldwide popularity with a great product. There was a careful and studied methodology involved in their rise.

This methodology is called Growth Hacking, and its practitioners include not only today’s hottest start-ups, but also the companies like IBM, Walmart, and Microsoft, as well as the millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, managers, and executives who make up the community of Growth Hackers.


10 books that will take you through different aspects of growth marketing await you in this article, are you ready?

1- Hacking Growth

by Sean Ellis – Founder of

The book Hacking Growth is a great way to understand the basics of growth hacking. 

Since its release, it has been used in many different industries and cases of business-success. Some companies that have applied growth hacking tactics include Facebook, Twitter, Google, and more. 

This book provides insight into how the process works and will help you find your success. Buy it on Amazon now!

2- Explosive Growth

by Cliff Lerner

Filled with insightful and entertaining stories, this book will help you turn your own startup into a huge success. 

The best-seller Explosive Growth: A Few Things I Learned While Growing To 100 Million Users – And Losing $78 Million is rich in examples, starting with the first online dating app and how it grew to 100 million users. Packed with expert advice on everything from marketing and branding to generating buzz over social media, this book has all the information you need to grow your business massively!

In this book, you’ll learn how to: 

  • IGNITE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH by creating a remarkable product
  • Explore valuable VIRAL GROWTH strategies to grow rapidly
  • Execute the GENIUS MEDIA HACKS that helped us acquire 100 million users
  • Create a thriving culture of PASSIONATE EMPLOYEES and CONSTANT INNOVATION

Buy it on Amazon now!

3- Traction

by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

Ever wondered what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

Well, the answer is probably not what you think.

It’s not about being original or having a brilliant team. 

The key to success is how consistently you can grow and acquire new customers. That’s called traction and it makes everything else easier—fund-raising, hiring press partnerships acquisitions. Talk is cheap, but a traction is hard evidence that you’re on the right path.

The Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth book teaches you the nineteen channels to build a customer base and how to pick the right one for your business.

In this book you’ll learn how to:

  • Find and use offline ads and other channels your competitors probably aren’t using
  • Get targeted media coverage that will help you reach more customers
  • Boost the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns by automating staggered sets of prompts and updates
  • Improve your search engine rankings and advertising through online tools and research

Buy it on Amazon now!

4- Growing Happy Clients

by Daphne Tideman and Ward van Gasteren

You don’t have to be a growth hacker to enjoy this book.

The author makes it easy for the reader to follow and understand how he has successfully hacked growth in his own work. With a no-nonsense approach, you’ll learn everything that separates successful growth hackers from the average ones in Growing Happy Clients: Our processes & experiences for growing fortune 500 corporates & the fastest growing scaleups.

Some of the things you will learn in this book are:

  • The five principles to handle any and every client you come across.
  • How to create internal fans within a company to ensure your contract gets renewed.
  • How to rid yourself of the confining label of Marketing and have a broader impact.

Buy it on Amazon now!

5- Don’t make me think

by Steve Krug

The most important book for every UI designer, growth marketer, and web designer for me is “Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability”.

As Steve Krug explains in the book, if a visitor only needs to stop and think about their next step for one second on your website, it’s probably not as intuitive as it could be. 

This book is a must-read for any growth hacker who wants to improve their UI skills.

Buy it on Amazon now!

6- The Paper Plane Plan

by Ross Davies

The Paper Plane Plan: Growth hacking techniques especially for the B2B service industry is a blueprint for how companies in the B2B service industry can take advantage of growth hacking to grow their company.

In this step-by-step guide to growing your business through growth hacking, you will learn:

  • How to select the perfect marketing hack/idea for your business with practical examples.
  • How to get your current clients to spend x10 with you
  • How to scale your marketing rapidly without extra effort.
  • How the author Ross Davies applied these lessons to his own business, which was consistently growing by a minimum of 50 % per year for five years.

Buy it on Amazon now!

7- Growth Hacker Marketing

by Ryan Holiday

Effective growth hackers have thrown out the old playbook and replaced it with testable, trackable, and scalable tools.

They believe in modifying products and businesses until they’re primed to generate explosive reactions.

Marketing experts all over the world are giving Holiday’s new book rave reviews, claiming it is a must-read. 

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising tackles the newest marketing trends and features, successful startups, brands, and small businesses that have successfully implemented the author’s tips to build their brand awareness.

Buy it on Amazon now!

8- Hooked

by Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal’s book sheds light on the psychology behind what makes a user come back for more. 

He shows how to use triggers and rewards to encourage addictive behavior in consumers.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products teaches an innovative way of looking at how we can incentivize retention, and provides valuable insight into the world of growth hacking.

Buy it on Amazon now!

9- Contagious

by Jonah Berger

Many people are familiar with the term “going viral,” but what is it about a person, idea, or product that makes them so popular?

What makes some stories more infectious than others? 

The answer might surprise you. People don’t listen to advertisements – they listen to other people’s opinions.

But how do different products and ideas go from being unpopular to becoming wildly popular? Why does one online video get posted on Facebook 25 times while the other only gets viewed twice? 

Contagious: Why Things Catch On explores how things become popular, why some content goes viral, and what this means for advertising in general. 

Buy it on Amazon now!

10- Growth Hacking: Silicon Valley’s Best Kept Secret

by Raymond Fong and Chad Riddersen

Once in a while, there is an entrepreneur who comes along and redefines what it means to be successful. 

These people are often called “Growth Hackers” by Silicon Valley’s elite because of their ability to grow companies so quickly. 

But what exactly is Growth Hacking? This book aims to answer all your questions on this phenomenon that has become the most sought-after job for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, and even college graduates.

Buy it on Amazon now!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is a set of strategies used by companies that aim for a big amount of growth in a short period of time. The term itself is relatively new, especially after the spreading of startup culture.

What does a growth hacker do?

A growth hacker is a person that constantly searches for effective way of growth to exploit, and achieve the best results with the lowest cost.

How can you become a growth hacker?

You don’t need comprehensive training to become a growth hacker, but you should read the books on our list while understanding product and content marketing and be open to trying new strategies.

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Can Ozuysal

John is the ex-Growth Manager of UserGuiding, a code-free product walkthrough software that 7000+ teams trust in their user onboarding.

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