34 Startup Metrics That Tech Entrepreneurs Need to Know
Several years ago, a key challenge with launching a new tech startup venture was that there weren’t many precedents to follow.
- How do you scale a company?
- How do you measure growth and costs in a more meaningful way?
- Does the company have real traction?
Of course, there were knowledgeable people in the tech ecosystem that knew these things – for example, venture capitalists and ex-founders that had been successful with previous ventures – but they were tough to gain access to, and many of their theories and best practices weren’t yet widespread.
Fast forward to today, and the practices around new startups are much more established. While this can be a blessing and a curse to new founders, at least a more standardized set of metrics helps to give founders a sense of where their company stands.
Key Startup Metrics, According to VCs
The infographic from Funders and Founders lists 34 startup metrics for founders to know – but which one should be a focus for new ventures?
Here’s what three bigtime VCs have said about the startup metrics that they consider to be most important at early stages:
“Month-over-Month Organic Growth”
For most companies, MoM organic growth is a very useful metric and depending on the base, 20–50% MoM growth can be good. Retention, referral, and churn are all things we look at, too.
– Aileen Lee, Cowboy Ventures
According to Aileen Lee, who originally came up with the “unicorn” term, organic growth is a particularly useful metric.
On the other hand, Bill Gurley of Benchmark says that monitoring conversions is a comprehensive metric that is a good proxy for several key business areas.
No other metric so holistically captures as many critical aspects of a web site – user design, usability, performance, convenience, ad effectiveness, net promoter score, customer satisfaction – all in a single measurement.
– Bill Gurley, Benchmark
Paul Graham, of Y Combinator fame, says that the metric depends on the stage. If you have revenue, then revenue growth is the metric you want. If you’re not there yet, user growth is a good proxy.
“Revenue Growth or Active Users”
The best thing to measure the growth rate of is revenue. The next best, for startups that aren’t charging initially, is active users. That’s a reasonable proxy for revenue growth because whenever the startup does start trying to make money, their revenues will probably be a constant multiple of active users.
– Paul Graham, VC and co-founder of Y Combinator
It should also be noted that the most relevant metric to you depends on your business model. For example, MRR (Monthly recurring revenue) and churn rates would be particularly important to SaaS (Software-as-a-service) startups, while MAUs (Monthly active users) and organic traffic may be more important measurements for online media companies.
11 Things Leaders Should Never Say to Teams
Here are 11 common phrases that managers should avoid saying to their teams, and what they should replace them with to get a better result.
Being a leader comes with great responsibility.
Not only are you accountable for the success of your division or organization, but your team is also constantly reliant on you for feedback, coaching, and guiding personal development.
While juggling these priorities, it’s not always easy for a manager to know the exact right thing to say to employees on the team. To further complicate matters, we all have bad management habits that have compounded over time, and they can be difficult to shed.
Building a New Lexicon
Today’s infographic comes to us from Headway Capital, and it highlights 11 things that leaders should never say to their teams.
More importantly, it breaks down the negative implications of each instance, while also providing suggestions on how we can evolve our managerial skills to ensure that we are approaching each situation far more proactively.
Life as a leader is busy, and it has many competing priorities.
However, to grow the type of company culture that pays long-term dividends, it’s worth it to try and better develop the way you give feedback to team members.
Using the list of items in the infographic, we can generally categorize these mistakes in a few distinct categories.
1. Gut Reactions
The quick dismissal of someone’s effort (“That’s not important”) or the temptation to play the busy card (“I don’t have time to talk right now”) can send the message that an employee’s time or thoughts are not valued.
Instead, small adjustments can be made to encourage better outcomes. For example, you could make it clear that while you may be busy in the moment, that a time can be scheduled at a later date to discuss the issue in detail.
2. Business Truisms
Likewise, spouting overused, quasi-motivational business phrases (“Failure is not an option”) or using dictative language (“We’ve already tried that before”) can stifle innovation at a company.
It’s better to instead ask questions, such as “What is our backup plan if this idea doesn’t work?” or “What other options do you see?”, to expand the range of opportunities that can be pursued.
3. Generic Feedback
Finally, although phrases like “Keep doing what you’re doing” or “Nice job today” seem to be positive and engaging, they actually are ineffective from a development perspective.
Employees need specific feedback to grow, so all that has to happen here is to mention a specific task or project along with the feedback. Team members can then internalize precisely what made a project or task a success, and apply it to other areas in the workplace.
The 150 Apps that Power the Gig Economy
You’re likely familiar with companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Craigslist, but here are 100+ other apps that help make the gig economy possible.
Here are 150 Apps that Power the Gig Economy
Go back in time a decade, and you’d have a tough time convincing anyone that they would be “employed” through an app on their phone.
And yet, in a short period of time, the emergence of the smartphone has enabled the gig economy to flourish into a multi-trillion dollar global market. And by leveraging apps like Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy, it’s estimated that 57 million people in the U.S. now participate in the gig economy each year in some shape or form.
What apps do these people use to turn their time, skills, hobbies, or assets (cars, home, parking spaces, etc.) into additional income streams?
Today’s infographic comes to us from TitleMax, and it lists 150 different apps that are used within the gig economy – including many that pay gig workers directly.
Here are just some of the apps that are used in some of the major categories above:
Uber and Lyft are what many think of when they hear about the gig economy. However, there are now dozens of rideshare apps out there to fill different niches – for example, Wingz offers flat-fee rides to the airport, while Curb connects riders with professional taxi drivers.
TaskRabbit, which was bought by IKEA, turns errands such as assembling furniture or cleaning a gutter into payable gigs. Meanwhile, apps like Dolly and Bellhops will connect you with movers, and LawnLove is for lawn care.
Art, Design, and Crafting
Etsy, a marketplace for handmade goods, is one the of the best known brands in this category. However, there are many other niche options here as well – for example, UncommonGoods specializes in unique gifts, while Society6 focuses on gallery quality art prints.
Writing and Editing
Lulu and Kindle Direct allow you to publish eBooks online and sell them, while proofreaders and editors can get paid for their copy editing services through Gramlee.
Fast and efficient delivery services are a centerpiece to the gig economy, and there are no shortage of options here. DoorDash, UberEats, Caviar, and GrubHub allow users to get food delivered to their doors, while apps like Instacart focus on grocery delivery.
We all know that you can create videos and monetize them on places like YouTube or Twitch, but did you know you can be a voice actor through services like VoiceBunny? You can also sell rights to your photos via Foap, or do freelancing work through Upwork or Fiverr.
Whether you are tapping into the gig economy for an extra income stream or you are incorporating gig economy services into your life for added convenience, there is no shortage of options to choose from.
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