Interview by Breanne Thomas
Hi Tiffany! So tell us — how did first come up with FlowJo?
For the last ten years, every time I faced a marketing or growth problem, I found myself jumping online and searching Google for something. Even though I had a specific problem that needed to be solved, I would still get overwhelmed by all the tactics out there. And even if I did find a hack that I liked, I still walked away feeling completely unorganized and wasn’t sure how it fit in with the ultimate growth plan and customer journey.
I started asking around and realized every digital marketing person I knew was doing this, and we all felt like we were wasting our time with little reward. So I created a word document with all the growth hacks I had ever used with steps on how to do them thinking that may help.
To be honest, it felt like just another long blog post. It felt overwhelming and paralyzing, even though I was the one who wrote it.
So I thought back to what helped me be successful in high school and university — I was always creating flashcards to keep insights and facts organized, stay focused, and make it easy for me to use anywhere I was.
I thought that it might be easier if I tried that here. As soon as I created the index cards and started using them away from the computer, I found myself more relaxed and organized. It was nice to know that if I did all of the things in this box, I would see huge results with any company I worked with.
When I gave the box to a group of digital marketers, I noticed how they were experiencing the same thing. They shared cards with each other, debated how they would work in their company and started having those “lightbulb” moments saying things like “I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet!”
These cards were proving to be useful not just to me, but to other people as well. So I took the index cards, turned them into The Growth Hacking Box, added some folder separators inside the box with “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done” to help stay organized — and Flowjo was born!
I know this a box aimed at resolving challenge, so what was the most unexpected challenge you personally faced during development and how did you break through?
You know what was the most surprising about creating this box? How many unexpected challenges I found along the way. From finding the right copyeditor who understood what I was trying to do, to figuring out how to design the box, to understanding how Amazon fulfillment works — every little step brought along its own sets of challenges that required me to take a breath, sit back, and deal with each problem as they came.
When I look back at it now and see everything I did, I can’t help but feel so proud and that this project gave me the opportunity to learn so much about things I had never even heard about (Freights? Card Stock sizes? Shipping by Air/Ship? What!?)
Do you have a favorite section in the box? What is it and why?
My favorite section of the box is the THINK section because it gives you some really fun and interesting ways to discover new growth hacking ideas and team build at the same time.
One of these growth hacks is called “How to Lose a Client in 30 Days.” Instead on focusing so much on how to fix problems you’re having, you look at ways that you can make it worse. Do you want to gain 1,000 customers in 30 days? Great! But for this meeting you’re going to focus on how to lose 1,000 customers instead. To do this, you first ask your team to individually come up with ideas on their own and then write all the answers on the whiteboard. When they reconvene, discuss why each idea would lose customers and then come up with the opposite of that solution. You will usually find 1–2 things to help gain customers you would have never thought of because you were so stuck. Another reason I like this is because it allows even the quietest members of your group to have their voice heard. Since you’re asking everyone to brainstorm in the beginning and you write down everyone’s answers on the board, you don’t run the risk of only looking at the ideas of the loudest members of the group.