Do what you love and f**k the rest

One marketer is controversial, disruptive, and revolutionary both in the business world and his personal life. He doesn’t live in Silicon Valley. He was not part of an IPO team. Yet he is one of the most respected growth marketers in the tech space. Noah Kagan.

When you start reading of Noah, all you can find is the “sad” story of how he was fired from Facebook...

Googling him will uncover a recent post, published in August 2014, titled “How An Early Facebook Employee Messed Up, Got Fired, And Cost Himself $185 Million”. You can call it a marketing stunt on Noah’s side or a lack of interesting content on @ajs’ side. The event actually happened years and years ago, and he even published on his personal blog in 2012. He is the first to admit that it was the right move on both sides. Don’t you think this a bit old of news?

I learned more about Noah, through his blog, Reading his posts, I discovered someone who values reputation over money — if he had stayed with Facebook he would have had a nice payout, but when I read his blog posts I see the growth of an incredibly talented marketer that was just incredibly impatient and likes to have fun.

Noah is more than a marketer, he is a life adventurer.

When you read his posts, read between the lines. Not only about hacks and tips, but of testing, failing, and learning. The closing phrase of one of his posts stuck with me. It synthesizes what Noah is about “Living-n-learning”. Two powerful concepts that he embodies and that make him go against the status quo. Those reflect in his views on marketing and life.

Do what you want and f**k the rest

The world of digital marketing is becoming more and more saturated by the minute. In order to be disruptive you need to go against traditional approaches. Try the crazy things, let the numbers speak and have fun while doing it. In February he wrote a very actionable, goal oriented blog post titled “Create your first marketing plan” and opened it with “As part of my 2014 to-dos, I’m working (and writing this) from Thailand for the next couple of weeks!”.

F**k Neil Armstrong, I wanna be like Noah Kagan when I grow up.


Keep Learning

Growth hacking is a relatively new concept and there is still a ton of misconceptions around the term. Although this creates some serious problems assessing the validity of ones statements, this creates an amazing opportunity into learning best practices. Be curious, talk to your peers, be engaged in the community. Growth hacking is an art. You can’t fully learn it through textbooks.

After impressively growing the waiting email list at to 20,000+, the learning curve flattened. He decided to move to bigger things, and left company and a decent payoff.

Make mistakes

Never, ever stop learning. Do not get to comfortable in your position.

Failure drives resilience. Make mistakes and do them quickly. Through his professional career he made several “mistakes”. Was bitter at times, yet he constantly praises those errors for teaching him valuable lessons.

“Matt Cohler (early LinkedIn, FB and now Partner at Benchmark) called me a “liability” as they let me go that day in the coffee shop on University Avenue. This has scarred me and I’ve worked hard to be an asset to the companies I start and people I’m involved with. Thanks Matt!” — Noah

You might think the three points above have nothing to do with being a successful growth marketer. WRONG. Digital marketing is all about the three above. Test crazy s***t, make mistakes fast, learn from them. Do it all over again.

Noah’s life is a lean startup.


Always my own views. Follow me at @NicoUngari.

Thank you @noahkagan for your blessing on the post.