August 9, 2020

Growth hacking hackers: How to create sustainable growth in technical communities

Growth hacking hackers: How to create sustainable growth in technical communities

Diversity is the power of crowdsourcing. Great talent, directed and incentivized in the right areas is the core innovation of bug bounties. At HackerOne, we have thousands upon thousands of people interested in this idea of hacking for a living, hacking for clout, hacking for education, or hacking just to be a good digital citizen.

We have been successful in cultivating the world's largest and most active community of hackers. Last month I was asked to do a presentation for the Pager Duty community on how we approach community growth and health at HackerOne.

You can see my full 10-minute talk on Pager Duty's website (beginning at around 31 minutes in).

I talk about how we define the term hacker, high-level hacking metrics we focus on, and some of key ingredients to success in community including an emphasis on transparency, scientific surveys and advisory boards, and creating a lifestyle or what we call "the cult of HackerOne".

Enjoy! I leave you with this great quote from Kai Elmer Sotto, a leader instrumental in building the communities of Facebook and eBay.

No matter what stage you’re at: find out who do you want more of, who do you want to invest in? From an ROI standpoint / growth metrics standpoint - do not focus so much on acquisition but focus a LOT more on retention metrics. If there is one metric that a community must measure and monitor is retention. How many of your hackers are continuing to participate. Choose the actions that cascade towards engagement.” - Kai Elmer Sotto, co-author of Get Together