Paul Graham has famously said "Startup == Growth" . But why is it so important?
And by "growth" I don't mean everyone has to be Uber - score billions of investmend, scale across the world, fight governments and finally potentially go bankrupt since the only thing sustaining the business is the investments themselves (I don't actually know Uber's numbers).
In this article we're talking about growth as the mindset to get your startup off the ground. This mindset will keep your focus in the right place (at least when it comes to metrics).
The basic question is if you're going to do marketing anyway do you want to find 1000 one time users or 10 recurring users? BTW 10 recurring users means the product is good enough to use and also to talk about and in a month you may have 11 users without even trying.
This is how marketing is seen traditionally. We create a lot of noise, many people use our product. As soon as we are done marketing, the users disappear. If you aim to make noise this is an expected result.
If however you aim to create growth it's a different mindset. First you figure out if your product actually supports growth. Like is it possible for the user to use your product multiple times? Can the user find it on the internet from the top of the mind memory? Who is the user and why would they want to return in the first place? Does this product create a positive emotion that the user seeks? With the product in place you don't just create noise but go talk to them in their space. You do what is needed for the aquired user to return and keep using your product.
If you nail a few recurring users the marketing "noise" you would do anyway will have much more effect since it's focused and the path to the user returning has been tested. Now any further marketing you do will bring in more recurring users.
Note: I was writing this in hopes to help a client understand the importance of focusing on growth, but I don't think I've done a very good job. So I'll probably try again some other day, iterate this thinking process. If you have thoughs, share them. Or perhaps a better blog post :) (here's one I found just now)