Advice for New Startups : Metrics

November 30, 2005 at 7:46 am | Posted in Startup, Uncategorized | 41 Comments

I’ve got a good friend, someone I know via IM, that wants to start a company.  He’s always asking me for advice, which is good of course, but I thought it would be better to just start blogging it since I know he’s a reader.  Anyway.  Here’s today’s “Advice Bit”:


Now I’ve been through the startup mill a few times now and there’s one thing that’s starting to **finally** sink in: Metrics Matter to VCs.  I’ve spent a few bits of odd time lately revamping the Feedster internal stats system so I can better gauge how to manage what features on Feedster need improvement and its been illuminating.  One of the things that I’ve learned also is that, in a web environment, you can get metrics on ***anything***.  A product manager asks you for a tool?  That’s fine.  But start capturing usage metrics. Then, when you’re having trouble debugging the tool, see if Feature foo is actually being used.  If its not then just delete feature foo.

Now the true lessen here for new startups is that if you’re starting out and you have NO codebase then you can build metrics in from the ground floor.  Every engineer knows that if you know a constraint on a problem early its a lot easier to solve the problem.  Accept that you need metrics on every facet of the organization and build that in early.



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