Developing a growth model + marketplace growth strategy | Dan Hockenmaier (Faire, Thumbtack, Reforge)
Play • 1 hr 4 min

Dan Hockenmaier is an expert on marketplace strategy and growth. He was previously the Director of Growth at Thumbtack as well as a partner at Reforge, where he co-created the monetization track. Currently, he is the Head of Strategy and Analytics at Faire. In today’s episode, Dan shares the building blocks of a growth model, important considerations when building your growth model, and how to get started. We also chat about retention best practices, the complexity of building a marketplace, the future of marketplaces, and when it makes sense to add a SaaS business to a marketplace, and vice versa.

Find the full transcript here:

Where to find Dan Hockenmaier:

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• Website:

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Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Amplitude:

• Flatfile:

• Eppo:


• Reforge:

• Casey Winters on Lenny’s Podcast:

• Faire:

• Dan’s blog post on the future of marketplaces:

• Careers at Faire:

In this episode, we cover:

(00:43) Dan’s background

(04:01) What is a growth model?

(07:20) The building blocks of a growth model for your own business

(10:22) The value in building your own model

(11:12) The importance of retention over growth 

(14:49) Getting started building your model

(19:18) The growth model at Thumbtack

(20:36) The importance of the early user experience for retention

(25:02) Why is a marketplace a good business?

(28:23) Health metrics for marketplaces

(33:47) Supply and demand, and why you shouldn’t neglect demand

(36:23) The role of ROI equations and how to use them

(39:16) Why you should tread lightly when working with marketplaces

(42:43) Expanding marketplaces

(46:50) How marketplaces can add a SaaS offering, and why adding a marketplace to a SaaS business is trickier

(49:47) When is there an opportunity to unbundle?

(54:43) B2B marketplaces 

(56:36) What is fragmentation?

(58:46) The future of marketplaces

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