Buyers need to build internal processes regardless if they are working in-house or not

Shift In-house > Freelance

Nader Sabry — Growth Hacking
3 min readNov 20, 2022

32% of reasons for switching from in-house to freelance is to cut costs. In most cases, in-house growth services are relatively reliable but do not get the desired results. Hence this drives the decision to improve return on investment by lowering costs.

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According to The State of Growth 2021, 51% of challenges faced by in-house growth services are managing the growth process itself. This is followed by managing growth experiments which is one of the most significant drivers behind poor-performing growth units,


When in-house growth services are not managed effectively due to a lack of expertise in running growth units. It is known in silicon valley that it is harder to hire a growth hacker than a CEO. The science of growth is a newly emerging practice, and hence the population of experts is very scarce. It is estimated that by 2030, 1 million growth hackers will be needed (Quoted by Altaf Jasnaik CEO & Founder — MANAGEMEND LIMITED). One of the early signs of the science of growth being scarce is in an article in 2013 titled: “The new weird science of growth hacking: What it is and how to implement it


When asked, “How many experiments become permanent processes?” in The State of Growth 2021, less than 25% of those processes become part of their operations. This leads to one of the most significant failure points in the growth hacking cycle, mapped out in Ready Set growth Hack as “Full-Scale operations,” where 91% of failures happen. It is an elusive stage as it is the last part of the growth hacking cycle. If success has happened up to this point, overconfidence will fail at the stage of “Full-scale operations.”


Growth service buyers will need to build robust internal processes regardless if they are working in-house, hybrid, or outsourcing with the scarce talent pool and little known about the processes that work effectively due to the high level of secrecy in the growth hacking field. This makes in-house processes challenging to develop and manage.

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A new study conducted by Growth Thinking, which analyzed 2,150 growth service buyers across 10 industries, found that 86% of growth agencies are — in fact — not growing.

These buyers, which represent $350 million in annual spending power, were surveyed over a period of 24 months. Some key findings in the study include:

  • The top issue among those 86% not growing is talent;
  • The average cost to switch from in-house to external providers is $48,241; and
  • 55% of first-time services used are from freelancers.

The study takes a deep look into spending behaviors, the type of growth hacking services in most demand, and switching costs and reasoning.

Read the Growth Hacking Service Buyer Report by clicking here

ABOUT — Growth Thinking

Growth Thinking is a design methodology for growth hacking by the bestselling author of Ready Set Growth Hack, Nader Sabry. It has been applied as a book and a $1 million challenge known as the 10-day growth hacking challenge, which has generated $138m in revenue. This methodology has been adopted by universities like Harvard and Stanford, fortune 500s (Google/Microsoft), and unicorns.



Nader Sabry — Growth Hacking

Strategist entrepreneur & innovator in space tech, government, & health/wellness. Has raised $20m directly /+$100m indirectly for startups.