GE 292: How Ethan Garr Mastered High-Tempo Testing and Why It’s the Key to Teltech’s Success (podcast)

Ethan Garr Teltech
Hey everyone! In today’s episode, I share the mic with Ethan Garr, Vice President of Product and Marketing at Teltech, a portfolio of apps and services.
Tune in to hear Ethan share his journey of working for Sean Ellis (who coined the term “growth hacking”), how their biggest product, RoboKiller, stops robo-calls from attacking your phone, the importance of experimentation in business, and why all of Teltech’s products are built around safety and a little bit of revenge.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:56] Before we jump into today’s interview, please rate, review, and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast!
  • [01:38] Ethan is responsible for growth at Teltech.
  • [01:55] Teltech has been building a portfolio for 12 years.
  • [01:58] Their biggest product is RoboKiller, which stops robo-calls from attacking your phone and actually answers them with a robo-message that annoys them and wastes their time.
  • [02:20] Ethan got his start at a PR firm, during the dotcom boom.
  • [02:35] He eventually ended up working for Sean Ellis, who coined the term “growth hacking”.
  • [04:47] All of Teltech’s products are in the privacy and security sphere.
  • [05:05] Spoof Card allows you to change your Caller ID in order to protect yourself, not terrorize people, as originally believed.
  • [05:43] Trapcall lets you unmask blocked Caller IDs, for those being harassed.
  • [07:40] All of Teltech’s products are now built around safety and a little bit of revenge.
  • [08:15] Teltech’s growth rate has been “fantastic”.
  • [08:25] They don’t publish their user count, because spammers were using the information against them.
  • [09:05] The High Growth Handbook talks about the importance of experimentation in business.
  • [09:40] High-tempo testing is the key to Teltech’s success.
  • [10:00] You need to commit to growth with a process in order to make it sustainable.
  • [11:20] Teltech tries to have an engine of high-tempo testing constantly running.
  • [12:36] Finding the optimal price for your product is the ultimate challenge.
  • [13:00] Running tests to find the best price is a typical test that Ethan might run at Teltech.
  • [15:20] It’s important to be very intentional about your testing.
  • [15:30] Make sure that you have a clear hypothesis before running a test.
  • [16:35] Teltech uses Growth Hacker’s North Star as a way to organize their testing process.
  • [16:50] Trello is great, but North Star is a much more intense and efficient tool for testing.
  • [22:55] Growth is not about prescription, it’s about inspiration.
  • [26:10] One of Ethan’s favorite stories of mistakes he and Teltech have made is the time they wanted to run a test. They borrowed a person from engineering to build the test.
  • [27:00] If customers were on a basic or premium plan, when it came time to renew, Teltech wanted to offer a one-week trial upgrade.
  • [27:23] The engineer realized there was too much complexity to upgrading in the time-frame they wanted.
  • [27:46] They abandoned the test, as it was a complete failure.
  • [28:03] They realized it was a failure, because the engineer didn’t completely understand the goal of the test, as he wasn’t a member of the team; he didn’t have the context.
  • [29:45] Teltech ran another test to try out Apple Pay.
  • [30:02] The test wasn’t successful, but realized they could have done less to learn just as much.
  • [31:35] Ethan’s team has a growth meeting every two weeks.
  • [33:40] Across all products, Ethan likes to run 15-20 tests per week.
  • [33:54] One tool that Ethan thinks has added value to his work or life is App Supplier.
  • [34:18] Ethan recommends the book A Voyage for Madmen.

Resources from the interview:

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About Eric Siu

Eric Siu (@ericosiu) is the CEO at Single Grain, a digital marketing agency that focuses on paid advertising and content marketing. He contributes regularly to Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes and more.

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