Q&A With First Round Review On Scaling Eventbrite’s $5B+ Growth Engine

I recently did a Q&A with First Round Capital’s portfolio companies where I answered questions around how to build a growth team, and how growth strategy and tactics evolve from startup through scale stage.  First Round then turned our session into a post on The Review: Answers To Your Tough Questions About Growth — Learned While Scaling Eventbrite’s $5B+ Growth Engine.

It covers areas such as:

  • How to assemble your growth team — who needs to be on it, how to start it, and how to get the flywheel spinning.
  • The best ways to report and track your progress so you always know what’s working, and so everyone’s aligned around what’s next.
  • The tools you need to use for smart funnel analysis now and in the future.


A few quotes that I like:

Doing what your competition is doing, just better or harder, rarely leads to winning a market. You have to find ways to do things differently.  Ask yourself, “What’s our business’ unfair advantage?” Identify and lean into to your unique strengths rather than trying to do everything.


Carve out resources that have a sole charter around growth, and know exactly which metrics they should be moving. Always align your organization with the few key metrics everyone should rally around. Each person’s individual goals should directly ladder-up to at least one of these metrics.


Don’t run growth independently through a single traditional functional group like marketing or product alone. Growth is best driven through tight alignment and coordination between marketing, product, engineering and analytics.


Don’t try to scale too soon. “When I was working on my own startup, we tried to scale before having true product-market fit. We tried to brute force our way through rather than focus on core user value and engagement; it was a huge error.”


Realize that every business is different. There’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all formula. Tailor these tactics to your market, but always drive hard toward simplicity. It’s really easy to overcomplicate growth efforts. Start with straightforward targets. Explain experiments clearly so that everyone can understand them. When you report results, make sure they make sense to everyone and lead to specific, logical actions.


Author: Brian Rothenberg

Founder & startup growth leader turned VC @ Defy Partners. I have operated through every stage: from founding, seed, series A through late-stage funding, all the way through IPO – from idea to hundreds of millions in revenue. Most recently I was at Eventbrite for 6+ years from startup through IPO ($300M revenue, nearly $3B market cap), serving as VP of Growth and running a $100M+ revenue line as GM. I founded a local services marketplace, SkillSlate, backed by First Round and Canaan Partners, which we ultimately sold to TaskRabbit. I have also been an angel investor and growth advisor to dozens of startups as part of Sequoia's Scout program, First Round Capital's Angel Track + Expert Network, and YC's Growth Council.

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