Oct 9 • 1HR 4M

Developing a growth model + marketplace growth strategy | Dan Hockenmaier (Faire, Thumbtack, Reforge)

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Lenny Rachitsky
Interviews with 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

Dan Hockenmaier is an expert on marketplace strategy and growth. He was previously the Director of Growth at Thumbtack as well as a partner at Reforge, where he co-created the monetization track. Currently, he is the Head of Strategy and Analytics at Faire. In today’s episode, Dan shares the building blocks of a growth model, important considerations when building your growth model, and how to get started. We also chat about retention best practices, the complexity of building a marketplace, the future of marketplaces, and when it makes sense to add a SaaS business to a marketplace, and vice versa.

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

Find the full transcript here: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/developing-a-growth-model-marketplace-growth-strategy-dan-hockenmaier-faire-thumbtack-reforge/#transcript

Where to find Dan Hockenmaier:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/danhockenmaier

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-hock/

• Website: https://www.danhock.com/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

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

• Amplitude: https://amplitude.com/

• Flatfile: https://www.flatfile.com/lenny

• Eppo: https://www.geteppo.com/


• Reforge: https://www.reforge.com/

• Casey Winters on Lenny’s Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-sell-your-ideas-and-rise-within-your-company

• Faire: https://www.faire.com/

• Dan’s blog post on the future of marketplaces: https://www.danhock.com/posts/the-future-of-marketplaces

• Careers at Faire: https://www.faire.com/careers

In this episode, we cover:

(00:43) Dan’s background

(04:01) What is a growth model?

(07:20) The building blocks of a growth model for your own business

(10:22) The value in building your own model

(11:12) The importance of retention over growth 

(14:49) Getting started building your model

(19:18) The growth model at Thumbtack

(20:36) The importance of the early user experience for retention

(25:02) Why is a marketplace a good business?

(28:23) Health metrics for marketplaces

(33:47) Supply and demand, and why you shouldn’t neglect demand

(36:23) The role of ROI equations and how to use them

(39:16) Why you should tread lightly when working with marketplaces

(42:43) Expanding marketplaces

(46:50) How marketplaces can add a SaaS offering, and why adding a marketplace to a SaaS business is trickier

(49:47) When is there an opportunity to unbundle?

(54:43) B2B marketplaces 

(56:36) What is fragmentation?

(58:46) The future of marketplaces

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