This question was posted to GrowthHackers.com today. I provided a short answer on GrowthHackers and wanted to share an expanded version here.
Many people have the misconception that they can growth hack their way to product/market fit. Trying to do this is generally very frustrating, expensive and unsustainable. And it is the leading cause of startup failure according to this very credible study.
So the basic premise of the question is likely incorrect. For most businesses, growth hacking should be used to accelerate growth after they have achieved product/market fit. I lay out the milestones to startup success in this article, which outlines why it’s important to wait to scale the business.
One exception to this rule is if you have a network effect business. In other words, you require a critical mass of users to validate if you have product/market fit. Here’s a presentation that I did years ago to explain what you need to do for this type of business http://www.startup-marketing.com/bringing-a-network-effect-business-to-market/ .