60 minutes | Jan 2nd 2020

How to trigger massive career shifts by following your curiosity - with Hila Qu(former VP of Growth at Acorns)

My guest today is Hila Qu. Hila is the former VP of growth at Acorns - and there are very many reasons I’ve so admired her work. Hila had a background in biology - and with nothing in her background that was relevant to growth, she started work at GrowthHackers, where she not only picked up the methodology of growth from Sean Ellis but also became very very proficient at experiment-driven growth. She wrote the series of articles ‘A growth practitioner’s 90 day plan’, which she herself used for her job search after GrowthHackers. She began working on experiments and retention at Acorns - and in a few years grew to be the VP of growth. In this interview, Hila talks not only about the pivotal moments in her career but also breaks down how she’s followed her curiosity and sought out challenges - and how this has always helped her break into spaces or positions where she’s started off being almost an outsider.


  • What inspired Hila to start working at GrowthHackers.com – and what they saw in her.
  • Some of the things Hila learnt about growth that were essentially life principles. How Hila developed a mental model for career growth from working with Sean Ellis. 
  • What inspired Hila’s article “A growth practitioner’s first 90-day plan.”
  • How Hila evaluated Acorns to see if they would be open to growth ideas and processes even though they didn’t have any.
  • How Hila started introducing her ideas – and went after early wins. The two directions Hila recommends thinking around for getting early wins. What Hila’s learning plan looked like.
  • What Hila’s day is structured like – at GrowthHackers and Acorns.
  • How Hila accessed leadership positions at Acorns. How Hila learnt the ’science’ of leadership.
  • How Hila picked KPIs around her personal OKR of being 20% tougher.

Check out the full transcript and show notes here:


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