Marketing Hell Week is Here [DAY 1]

500 Startups Marketing Hell Week Batch 16 Opening Day
Marketing Hell Week Batch 16 Opening Day

February 01, 2016

Marketing Hell Week is HERE. Today’s guest post comes from Marshall Darr, a founder who’s helping us pull off our most complex — yet elegant — choreography of a growth marketing crash course ever created. Read on to see the full schedule of material, and find out how to grab it for yourself.

There’s a chance I’m in way over my head.

The past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind, concluding with me sitting in an empty auditorium at 500 Startups as the firm’s Batch 16 gears up for one of the most intense weeks at one of the most intense startup accelerators in the world. For this one week, I’m going to be joining them.

Saying I’m new to Growth would be a bit of a disservice to those new to Growth.

The first time I even heard the word applied outside of a botanical setting was six months back in the middle of a phone call with Misha Chellam, founder of Tradecraft, discussing whether or not I would be a good fit for his program.

I graduated from Tradecraft on Friday, September 11th and by the following Monday I was working full time on launching a startup of my own (if you’re curious, check out this shameless backlink: Captivate Real Estate).

As a founder, I threw myself into learning the ins and outs of real estate, running growth experiments in my “spare” time, and figuring out a way to get us to a cash positive position by the end of February.

Then something unexpected interrupted my strict routine of 12+ hours a day of halogen tanning punctuated with the occasional bout of sleep.

Misha connected me and Danny Minutillo, a fellow alumni, with 500 Startups.

Tammy and Susan were looking for someone to back up Growth Marketing Hell Week at 500 Startups. It seemed like an amazing opportunity to learn at the frontlines, so Danny and I jumped in immediately.

Now, Growth is a pretty large subject range and six months isn’t enough time to get much more than just the vocabulary down. Entire companies have been built with a sole focus on specific specialties within slivers of the topic, and now I’m meeting with some of the people responsible for founding the field.

On my walk over to 500 Startups for my first meeting, the butterflies in my stomach started throwing up. That’s right. Not only were there butterflies, but they too, were sick to their stomachs.

I was anxious.

I would soon be in a room with 70+ potential future Zuckerbergs, and all I could think about was how I wished I had picked a different shirt that morning.

Tammy and Susan had assembled what can only be described as the first family of Growth, and for some reason I was going to be involved with it.

Speakers from Hubspot, KISSmetrics and other top companies were all lining up to lend their time to 500’s new batch, and I felt like a math tutor desperately trying to stay one chapter ahead of their students.

And yet here I am. My head is still swimming with all that needs to get done, but the feeling of unbridled potential that permeates the air in 500’s SF office has a way of swallowing up newcomers. Dreams don’t feel too big to hold here.

As with everything that seems to happen in this office, this is going to be a wild scramble, but this feels like the right place to do it. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


  • Building a Growth Machine — Brian Balfour
  • Fireside Chat: On Growth — James Currier & Dave McClure
  • Pricing + Positioning — Mathew Johnson
  • Workshops: Defining Your OMTM and Your Funnel — Andrei Marinescu
  • Creating Your Analytics Tracking Plan — Tammy Camp
  • Smoke Tests for Growth — Dom Coryell
  • U/X for Growth – Brandon Flayler
  • SEO for F*cking Startups — Aaron Blumenthal
  • Content Marketing for Startups — Susan Su
  • (Next Level) Email Marketing for Startups — Susan Su
  • Display and Psychographic Marketing — Mike Collela
  • Paid Acquisition: Remarketing — Susan Coellius
  • Paid Acquisition – Facebook Ads — AdEspresso Team
  • Paid Acquistion – Facebook Dark Testing — Patrick Costello, Naytev
  • and MUCH MORE!!! Sorry, got tired of typing, sign up below to get the rest 🙂


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