Sep 25 • 59M

Growth tactics, retention strategies, and becoming a better writer | Julian Shapiro (Demand Curve, Hyper, Webflow, TechCrunch)

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Appears in this episode

Lenny Rachitsky
Lenny Rachitsky interviews world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.
Episode details

Julian Shapiro is widely known as the founder of Demand Curve, where he’s helped thousands of companies figure out their growth strategy. He also wrote the growth marketing column at TechCrunch, was VP of Marketing at Webflow, and even created an animation engine called Velocity that’s now used in apps like Uber and WhatsApp. In today’s episode, Julian dives deep on product-led acquisition (PLA) and why he believes it’s the best way to grow your company. He shares specific marketing strategies for growth and retention and speaks about his framework for creating novel, engaging content, and how to choose topics for that content. He also discusses a framework called the Curiosity Faucet, inspired by prolific creators such as Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, and Neil Gaiman, to help you unlock your own creativity.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, and Overcast.

Find the full transcript here:

Where to find Julian Shapiro:

• Twitter:

• LinkedIn:

• Website:

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter:

• Twitter:

• LinkedIn:

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude:

• Flatfile:

• Eppo:


• Paul Graham’s Twitter:

• Julian’s guide on startup growth channels:

• Topic selection:

• Product-led acquisition:

• Novelty:

• Julian’s example of counter-narrative novelty:

• Julian’s example of counterintuitive novelty:  

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction:

• Neil Gaiman Teaches the Art of Storytelling:

• Ed Sheeran, Songwriter:

• John Mayer describes his songwriting process:

In this episode, we cover:

(03:42) Julian’s background

(04:46) Why Julian hasn’t been tweeting frequently

(07:43) Advice for building a Twitter following

(09:53) The main reason Julian creates handbooks

(11:33) The difference between e-handbooks and newsletters

(13:25) What is product-led acquisition?

(16:20) The categories of product-led acquisition

(22:31) What is billboarding, and how can you take advantage of it?

(25:56) UGC—leveraging user-generated content for free advertising

(29:33) Strategies for retaining users

(38:36) How to keep novelty high in writing

(45:50) Julian’s framework for choosing writing topics

(54:35) The creativity faucet—how to unclog your pipes and get it going

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