lol now this is a growth hack – the Princess

// taken from a guide on

‘Cause A Problem’ To Reach Out To Customers
The Hack – Cause a Problem Intentionally to Reach Out to Users

AARRR stage – Retention

Growth Problem – How to Get Users to Contact Customer Support


You’re intently staring at your screen, trying to get something important – no – crucial done. That one big task, which will tip the balance of your day’s productivity on the ‘getting shit done’ scale. And then your SaaS app crashes. OMG! WTF! NOOOO!!!

But then… As if by magic, you see an email pop up in your inbox from the Customer Success team of this already-foresaken app developer (which is now on your ‘to unsubscribe as soon as I find a suitable alternative’ list). In a very excited, slightly self-indulgent tone, the mail points out that their system has picked up on a problem with your app instance but the issue has already been fixed by their developers.

They also offer you a 30% discount on their annual subscription as an apology. “WOW! That’s some pretty outstanding customer support” you think and straight-away reply thanking them for saving your day. You then promptly take the app off your ‘to unsubscribe as soon as I find a suitable alternative list’ and purchase their annual plan. In short, you are now a BELIEVER.

But guess what? You just got Growth Punk’d! (now THAT would be a cool show)

Just Hack It:

Wha?! Let me repeat that. Growth. Punk’d.
“But, why? They seemed so nice!”
Uh-huh, that’s what they all say. Anyway, you have just experienced a very clever hack from the ‘customer success as marketing’ playbook
If you think about it, it’s Psychology 101: save the princess, be the hero. And that’s exactly what you are now. A princess…
Now that you know, don’t be so gullible next time. Look after yourself in that gangster’s paradise a.k.a. the SaaS startup world
And definitely have a think about whether you can ethically replicate this hack for your own users
Just be careful how you do it – the last thing you want is to lose any customers this way. Not everyone is as gullible, princess…
Source or Inspiration:

SaaS Marketing: 21 Growth Hacks to Test Today

7 Steps to the Success of Mint and the 170 M Acquisition

[Study] How a solo founder managed to make $170 million in 3 years…

You probably know Mint, founded by Aaron Patzer in 2006.
Usually, startups are founded by a team. This guy founded it alone.

In 3 years, the company was acquired for $170 million.

Here‘s the path Aaron followed to achieve this result:

#1. Starting from 2006, Aaron focused on high-quality blogging.
Delivered finance tips, link roundups, videos and infographics.

#2. At the end of every blog post, he had a beta list email opt-in.

#3. Mint‘s articles went viral on Reddit and Digg.

#4. In 9 months, they built a list of over 20k emails before even launching their app.

#5. Asked their users to embed a badge saying “I want Mint” on their blogs and social media page in exchange for VIP access.
Result: got links on 600+ blogs while the users competed for access.

#6. Participated in startup events. Result: won TechCrunch40.

#7. Hired PR agency that secured Aaron about 550 interviews in a couple of years. For 1 week every two months, Aaron did a press tour.

Unpowered Exoskeleton – invention I contributed to

An unpowered exoskeleton makes walking more efficient, by engaging a spring in parallel with the Achilles tendon. – finally someone used the notes they made during the Intel ISEF 2006. This was what Vidrighin, Macicasan Tudor and I went to the finals with.

We didn’t win the competition, but I am quite happy someone made use of this great idea! It’s almost the same design and it’s 100% the same principle that we employed for creating our own prototype back then.

A lot of people took notes from our research and presentation. I always wondered why none of them did anything. Until today:

Hey, Today.

Good morning today,
My yesterday’s self is still in dismay
The sun it turned all up and down
In this endless quest each day I drown
For times they are always a-changing
Rolling their dice while destiny’s clinging
To the soul of today’s sorrow,
Trying to influence your taste of tomorrow

You’re my favorite drop of tea

*this one is dedicated to my wonderful wife, Andreea.

Life is just amazing when you are around
Nothing feels as perfect as when I hear my favorite sound:
You jiggle and you laugh
I can’t ever have enough.

I can’t, I can’t ever have enough.

I will never feel homeless
Because you’ve always been my home
You can really have me breathless
Like when we kiss beneath the Dome.

You’re my crazily redhead
You’re my favorite drop of tea.
I will never see you sad
Not even when I try poetry.

I love you this Christmas season,
And every Christmas from now on.
You and our cute baby are my reason
To keep staying.. Here under the Sun.

Oh, and we’ll keep playin’ here under the Sun.

Chapter 2: 40 Seconds of Unholy Glory

The man like a demon traveled to dark outreaches of space. His mind was facing an imaginary colossus.

“this was all shit.”

the night winds repeatedly seemed to curse his name, the name of the man with the eyes of a demon.

He didn’t know who said those word, nor did he actually care.

The world had mocked him good this time. Oh, yes. Very good indeed. He was Hell’s and Heaven’s bitch now.

While he was consumed by random thoughts which, while completely true, made no sense at all, the cat was observing that cursed Simpleton. What was he up to?

The cat moved its tail from here to there. It was intriguing. The Simpleton was upset (UPSET!, for crying out loud) at something. Which meant the Simpleton could be used, if the right buttons were pressed. The cat started purring, a long resounding purr of utter joy. Heaven fell. Everyone in Hell was in Heaven trying to rape and gut any sacred being they could find.

It was a moment of joy. Hell could be taken, since there was no one claiming it then and there. There were two great parts in all of this : God (yes, the cat was quite sure He existed) made the Heruvims truly awesome and mighty, even Gabriel… Which meant months of resistance, maybe years, til Heaven would be taken anyway. And it could play a Simpleton in its paws.


Now there was only the part about the man with the Eyes like a demon… And it’s old mistress who had scorched skin, as if a volcano had birthed her.

He felt she wasn’t truly changed, even though her texture suggested otherwise.. But then again he had been completely wrong before, while thinking he was in France, and all the while being in hell. So much debauchery and prostitution could’ve had anyone fooled. At least the cat thought so.

Purring fondly, the cat fell asleep.

Very few screams were heard that day. The Simpleton was sad. Deeply sad.

“It was all shit”, he kept repeating.

There was no more color. No more sound. This place used to be Magnificent. It was his playground. He just had to press all those metal structures inside the puny human. Puny human made Simpleton sad..

There was no color. Papa Simpleton warned him there’d be days like this when greed would take over. He never expected to make the Devil ugly man so happy. He hated Devil man. And he hated when Devil man was happy.

Now he planned to do things to Devil man. Worse than puny human did to tiny beautiful lady. Devil man made him destroy his own playground. Papa Simpleton said this was manpinu… Man-pi-nu… Mapiminilation. When devil man made Simpleton do what Simpleton not want.

“Simpleton miss playground!”

The cat started moving, and the man like a demon could’ve sworn he heard it laugh.

His torturer lay on the ground with hands on his head.

And the girl…. Oh the girl.. Such rare purity.

He knew what he did. He knew why he did it. It felt good. And now the Universe was punishing him. Badly.

He felt a cold chill down his spine and the volcanoes smoldered as ugly pixies with the teeth of Death appeared. They eyed the man.

He froze.

But they sure as hell didn’t. Their trail of grotesque movement, that made you think of a dead ox splintered in two pieces and their odor that was making itself felt more and more as they were approaching, left the man feeling a strong disgust in his frozen mouth.

Those teeth.

They started being thrust into his skull, while blood was pumping out of it. You never died in hell. Not for more than a few days. But he never expected this sort of torture.

A fireball came scurrying up through the air and landed itself on the head of the man, burning all those little abominations that were pumping blood out of the man’s skull, and laying it to waste on those rocks of desperation. The Unholy mage quickly grabbed the neck of the man, hit him in his stomach and started sucking at the blood that was still being dripped.

At the taste of blood, he became greedy, turned the man upside down, cut a long line in his thigh, and in 40 glorified seconds drank up all the blood that was pouring from the man’s veins.


He turned to the Simpleton, who was still standing sad on the ground, with hands raised to his head, uttered “Cheers” then turned back into a swarm of pixies and left.

The man like a demon was dead.


The Man With the Eyes Of A Demon

A man like a demon sat in the long black chair.

There was no sound. The cats in the room kept quiet as their tails tried to analize the approaching doom.

Then the man screamed..

All hell broke loose, and as one of the cats later recorded, the devil himself was there to witness the cries of the man. And he was happy.

It was fun for the cat to even consider that, but the large grin on the devils face could never indicate otherwise.

A bolt of steel cracked open the man’s skull with a cringing sound. It was not pleasant. But then again: nothing here ever was.

There was no blood coming out of that skull. But another bolt of steel was definitely going in. The pain, the rage… The suffering, they were all there in those horrid cries. A simpleton in the room cast a spell of Inner Sight, which started to display what the man like a demon was thinking about in those moments.

What could any human being be thinking about while those metals were cracking their skulls? What could they possibly be thinking about when pins were thrust into their eyes, and they began bleeding from every inch of their head?

The procedure was always dull. And it was always stupid. The cats could never really grasp why this part of the process ever came in place. But the devil himself was there to witness it this time. So something good must come up on that weird old display made of smoke dark as the heart of desperation.

Yes, the cat wanted to be impressed by something. Its tail betrayed it during those moments. It realized that being there could turn from great pain to great pleasure. There was always the curiosity of that girl. That one girl sent from Heaven, up on those great sunny hills. She gave it milk. It was happy during those old times. And she never demanded anything. She was a curios sort though… Perhaps a bit too curios.

Suddenly the stream of thoughts ended in the cat’s head. The little girl. The little girl was there, in the smoke, standing bare-footed on a cold rock. She was wearing a white dress and the hands of the man like a demon were touching her from below and curling up the girls thighs. If it wasn’t certain until now, it was no longer the case: the devil WAS happy. This DID make him grin and this was NOT a waste of time for the cat.

As a two-handed sword was thrust into the chest of the man, he didn’t think about the pain. He felt the pulse and the warmth of that fragile body and the wet fluids from the hand that was now very up the girl’s dress. The smoked image showed him with mad obsessive eyes, as he was moving his hand underneath the dress and the pleasure he felt as the wet sensation turned from a newly found nuisance to something that he wanted to feel forever and drown his head in.

The little girl took no pleasure in this. Nor did she stop him. She was too preoccupied with studying his eyes. Those demon eyes.

A lot of things happened after that. The smoke screen showed the man falling deeper into lust, and the girl just crawled underneath the man in every way she could just to keep her gaze into the eyes of the man like a demon.

Then the smoke screen vanished, as the man finally died from all the crazy metal bits and pieces that cut through his body.

A roaring laughter crushed the ceiling of the place, and the cat had to run for cover. When it was finally safe, the devil was gone. The other cats were gone, the simpleton was gone. But the raped girl was now right there in the room, crushed under some of the rocks.

“They never told me this was hell” the cat whispered to itself. And then it just walked away from that room hoping never to see it again.


A man with the eyes of a demon held a little girl in his arms. Neither one of them were dead.

The simpleton felt a rush of yellow color striking through his heart as he recounted the events of the previous day again in his head. He was happy that he finally managed to create a smoke screen.

He always thought yellow was the color of happiness. It was the only thing he could associate happiness with. Usually, there was not much happy time around these dark corridors.

The man turned the girl’s head.

Her eyes had turned yellow. Her skin had become scorched and the purity of Heaven was lost on her now.

She was now the girl with the eyes of a demon.

And Heaven lost that day.

Power was all up for the grabbing, and while the simpleton was happy with his foolish magic, the cat was anxious to turn this to its favor.


There Is A Fear

There is a fear in the darkness
A fear that makes crows scare
Passengers mutilated in likeness
For a purpose beyond the fair.

People in dissaray, glaring so bright
From another world, built out of sight
For a stallion of breaches
In the core of the sea where the Siren preaches
In stains of blood a song of the ages
Down, down, in the old rusted cages.