Podcast to go Link to Apple Podcast Link to RSS Feed Link to Spotify Link to Youtube

#03 Growth Hacking: How soundcloud grew from 1 to 100 million users – Thom Cummings

Thom Cummings CMO of Grover, responsible for all things marketing, product and design. Having joined in August 2016, he has overseen a transformation of the brand, a rethink of the product experience and a 10x growth in revenue.

A lapsed statistician, turned marketer, Thom’s focus is on growth and strategy for early stage business, helping to grow SoundCloud from <1m to >100m users and previously at Betfair and MadBid.  He also acts as a startup adviser through his work at Seedcamp, Techstars & Founders Institute.


  • The guest, Thom Cummings, discusses his experience in scaling companies and growth hacking strategies.
  • He started his career in customer insight for an insurance company and later joined SoundCloud when it had under a million users.
  • At SoundCloud, they focused on educating users about the concept and value proposition of the platform, aiming to be the audio infrastructure of the web.
  • Thom describes the growth of SoundCloud as a roller coaster ride, emphasizing the importance of experimentation and a strong experimentation framework.
  • When scaling a team, Thom prioritizes hiring great people with entrepreneurial values and maintaining transparency and communication between different departments.
  • Grover’s growth hacking strategy involved focusing on customer acquisition and retention channels.
  • They conducted a lot of experimentation and testing to drive growth in various areas, including traditional channels like search and social media and newer ones like content and video.
  • The company built a partner network to integrate their services with major retailers like Media Markt and Conrad, driving significant growth.
  • Developing a subscription and retention strategy was essential for Grover, as they aimed to retain users, expand subscriptions, and upsell them to new products.
  • The process of partnering with big players required persistence and a long sales cycle, proving the value of their business before integrating with them.
  • The company’s culture valued entrepreneurial attitudes, fluid mindsets, transparency, and open debates among team members.
  • To overcome challenges in scaling, Grover focused on increasing capabilities, empowering team members, and decentralizing decision-making.
  • Balancing work and personal life was crucial for personal growth and effectiveness as a leader.
  • Grover encouraged diversity of perspectives and appreciated the value of introverts in an extrovert-oriented world.
  • The company’s CEO emphasized understanding one’s strengths and niche, making tough decisions, and embracing internal conflict.
  • A recommended book is “Quiet” by Susan Cain, which explores the value of introverts in society and business.
Interesting Quotes:

„Your Value Proposition comes from different angles.”

„Growth is a roller coaster it’s unpredictable.”

„Growth needs to be owned.”

„Embracing internal conflict more rather than going with the flow.”
Book Recommendation:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

#Balance between work and life for empathy, #Deal with change,  #entreprenuerable values, #Get shit done,  #Growth Focused People, #Growth need to be owned