Why Misunderstanding Startup Metrics Can Cost You Your Business

Both Sides of the Table

There has been a lot of public debate over the past several weeks about whether it’s a good thing to be “gross margin positive” or not and commentary always reminds me that some people at startups don’t quite understand financial metrics or even how to think about which ones are healthy.

How Startups Can Use Metrics to Drive Success

Both Sides of the Table

Having a set of metrics that you watch & that you feel are the key drivers of your success helps keep clarity. And the more public you can make your goals for these key metrics the better. You’ll have no idea when you’re off course. Revenue Metrics. Salesman Metrics.

Non-millennial Bootstrapping – These 50-Something Entrepreneurs Rejected VC $ And Nailed It

InfoChachkie

Greathouse: Your collective experiences have clearly made bootstrapping a viable option for you, more so than might be the case for a typical, younger entrepreneur who needs more direction, doesn’t have cash discipline, etc. Metrics related to customer acquisition, lifetime value and churn.

Product Manager Entrepreneur Mark Geller

SoCal CTO

He has a really interesting background as a product manager and now an entrepreneur. Founder Institute is the brain child of Adeo Ressi , a super passionate and successful serial entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley, probably best known for founding TheFunded.com.

The Yo-Yo Life of a Tech Entrepreneur – A Cautionary Tale

Both Sides of the Table

TechCrunch Europe ran an article in November of last year that European startups need to work as hard as those in Silicon Valley and I echoed the sentiment in my post about the need for entrepreneurs to be maniacal about their businesses if one wants to work in the hyper competitive tech world.

Ten Startup Tips From Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos

InfoChachkie

As discussed in Hiring Entrepreneurs, the impact of each new hire during your startup’s early days is tremendous. If your culture rewards those who seek the truth, your team will be prone to objectively identifying tactical course corrections. Corporate Culture Entrepreneur The Fringe

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Be Honest About Whether Your Product Really Makes a Difference

Both Sides of the Table

” This, too, is a must read for any entrepreneur. I have many investments with early traction and I the entrepreneurs I work with must tire of my constantly saying, “Are we really making a difference? And of course it’s true in personal productivity apps, SMB apps, B2B software and so forth. His point is that you should figure out the metrics that TRULY matter in your business and hold yourself accountable to these. Not vanity metrics.

Happy Customers Make Gender Bias (Nearly) Irrelevant

InfoChachkie

At Rincon Venture Partners , we have invested in several female entrepreneurs(so far), including Tracy DiNunzio, Founder and CEO of Tradesy. which serves to further diminish the perceived number of accomplished women entrepreneurs. It''s not perfect, of course.

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Making Revenue Sharing And Cost Savings Deals Work – Sharing Means Caring

InfoChachkie

Despite the pathetic nature of Barney deals, the big purple dinosaur offered sound business advice to entrepreneurs in a TV episode entitled, “Sharing means caring.” Tags: Entrepreneur Partnerships The Fringe

Lighting the match – going viral

Berkonomics

It was as much in reaction to my getting blank stares from entrepreneurs when I asked that question as it was for me to better understand the problem itself. And of course sometimes that requires a large amount, far beyond the capability of small companies looking for its initial audience.

The Loneliness of Success that Nobody Talks About

Both Sides of the Table

Entrepreneurs could learn about loneliness of success: nobody talks about. Of course that’s true. The Yo-Yo Life of a Tech Entrepreneur.

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How the Seed-Stage VC Trend Began, The Downsides of Unicorns & Much More

Both Sides of the Table

*. If you are a 20-something tech entrepreneur you could be forgiven for thinking that seed-stage investors, Angellist Syndicates and widely available angel money always existed. It is, of course, a very recent phenomenon.

How Great, Operationally-Focused CFO’s Can Transform Your Business

Both Sides of the Table

It’s the nature of most entrepreneurs, honestly. Another thing entrepreneurs f**k up? A great CFO will make sure you’re accurately measuring your CAC (along with a great marketer, of course) and your LTV. The full financial details and metrics were in the deck. So my time was freed up to call board members in advance and walk them through our metrics and understand any concerns. Establishing Metrics & Monitoring Success (or Failures).

The new Berkus SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS COLLECTION – eBooks and books

Berkonomics

Announcing EIGHT new mini-books and eBooks by Master Entrepreneur, Dave Berkus , just released by The Berkus Press. Creating metrics. Farming out tasks beyond your core, and of course, much more. New forms of metrics for your business.

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When the Good Guys in Venture Change Roles

Both Sides of the Table

In this capacity I can tell any entrepreneurs raising early-stage capital that I would have Matt on my short list if I were raising. Of course Kleiner has had a difficult couple of years.

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Lessons Learned From The Accelerator Trenches: MuckerLab's Erik Rannala

socalTECH

That is, once you invest in a company, you''re a shareholder, and you help that company for the course of its life. What''s your one piece of advice for entrepreneurs? incubator incubate accelerate interview entrepreneur capital venture startup accelerator muckerlab rannala erik

Pricing Customer Acquisition Sunk Costs and More - Ten Recent Great Startup Posts

SoCal CTO

Startup Killer: the Cost of Customer Acquisition | For Entrepreneurs , February 2, 2010 Looks at the critical equation around customer acquisition cost vs. customer lifetime value similar to what I discussed in Startup Metrics but in more depth. Of course, one of the best ideas around this is to have Negative Customer Acquisition Costs. A VC : Venture Capital and Technology , February 18, 2010 Great post from Fred Wilson that questions a common metric – unique visitors.

If You Don’t Have a Discrete Hypothesis You Are Incapable of Failing

Both Sides of the Table

Oh, and if you didn’t guess, the title, “if you don’t have a discrete hypothesis you are incapable of failing” is, of course, an Eric Ries quote. 3:35 The real entrepreneurs come out during a down economy. 48:30 Vanity metrics. 52:00 Actionable metrics.

Bad Notes on Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

At an accelerator … Me: Raising convertible notes as a seed round is one of the biggest disservices our industry has done to entrepreneurs since 2001-2003 when there were “full ratchets” and “multiple liquidation preferences” – the most hostile terms anybody found in term sheets 10 years ago. Convertible notes have both features in them but for some reason entrepreneurs don’t understand it. There were no metrics. Him: On metrics.

In 15 Years From Now Half of US Universities May Be in Bankruptcy. My Surprise Discussion with @ClayChristensen

Both Sides of the Table

Today’s higher education is responding by making more courses online and available to people outside of physical boundaries. We talked about how business school historically hasn’t positioned entrepreneurs well for success.

Interview with Tara Weingarten, VroomGirls

socalTECH

Tara Weingarten: We had no metrics when we started, and even now, we had a big week with 1900 uniques on one day. In whatever career you are in, just in the course of your business people see your work, and see if you're good or not at what you do.

Lean Startup Legend Steve Blank Discloses His Most Daring Guerrilla Marketing Tactics

InfoChachkie

However, many people are not aware that prior to entering academia, Steve was a wily and creative marketing entrepreneur. He met with the editors of the three Mac magazines that his customers read and showed them metrics that confirmed that SuperMac's boards were the fastest on the market. "I

Here’s Why a Booming Tech Market May Fool You into Thinking You’re Successful

Both Sides of the Table

I’d like to do a few posts on what life looks like on the way up and perhaps how to keep your head on straight and avoid drinking your own Kool Aid because as I often advise entrepreneurs on irrational exuberance, “ In a strong wind even turkeys can fly.” Of course back then it literally was sold in a package and stored on a shelf! Create company measures for success that go beyond financial metrics.

Why I F **g Hate Unicorns and the Culture They Breed

Both Sides of the Table

Not the successful companies themselves but the entire b t culture of swash-buckling startups who define themselves by hitting some magical $1 billion valuation number and the financiers who back them irrespective of metrics that justify it. But the status symbol of this milestone is driving investors, entrepreneurs, the press and everybody into thinking you magically can achieve this status in a matter of a few years with a great team and an astounding idea. For a fee, of course.

Past Is Prologue As New Industries Emerge: It Ain’t Gonna Be Different

InfoChachkie

as well as old-world pricing, such as cost-per-thousand views, which was based upon print advertising metrics. He is a member of the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Faculty where he teaches several entrepreneurial courses. _. — Tags: Entrepreneur Launching Venture Strategic Planning The Fringe In 1933, baseball card collectors were frustrated. For some reason, they found it impossible to complete their Goudy Gum 240-card set.

7 Ways to Fail When Applying to an Accelerator

Tech.Co

So when we come across an entrepreneur who cannot resist using 20 words when 10 would suffice, it’s painful, really painful. We want hard data and metrics – we want proof. The entrepreneur has put a lot of time into crafting his deck and making it look pretty.

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How Open Should a Startup CEO be with Staff?

Both Sides of the Table

Of course not. Of course you need to be open. You know this isn’t likely to lead anywhere and frankly you didn’t quit your job to pursue your life dream of being an entrepreneur to sell 12 months later in an acquihire. Of course you shouldn’t f **g buy a house.

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Why You Don’t Want to Give Financial Information to All of Your Investors

Both Sides of the Table

In a funding round with 1 or 2 VCs and 15-20 angels or 4-6 seed funds if you gave every investor you financial information and performance metrics your proprietary information would increase in its probability of leaking out. This is no different than a public company where of course most investors are not given detailed financial and performance information and when they are it is quarterly and after the fact. Does he blog about venture capital and try to advise entrepreneurs?

How I Invest

Both Sides of the Table

As a starting point I have to believe the founder has the attributes of an entrepreneur that matter most to me : Tenacity, resiliency, inspiration, perspiration, attention-to-detail, competitiveness, decisiveness, risk tolerance and integrity. Of course I also have to the concept. I was speaking recently to the team at NuOrder , an LA-based company we’re an investor in about “realism in startups” — an impromptu talk I have given to any of our portfolio companies who ask.

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How to Decrease the Odds That Your Startup Fails

Both Sides of the Table

In our industry we applaud the efforts for entrepreneurs to have tried and we know that today’s failure can bring the experience for tomorrow’s success. For example, if you’re going to build a travel planning website (as many, many startup entrepreneurs do) your basic research would be: How much do people spend on travel books / guides today? The metrics were good but we wondered how much better they would be when we expanded our product.

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Why Startups Should Raise Money at the Top End of Normal

Both Sides of the Table

I have conversations with entrepreneurs and other VCs on a daily basis about fund raising, the prices of deals, how much companies should raise, etc. Well, obviously if you knew that in advance it would be big of course that would be true. And of course there are always outliers.

Should Startups Focus on Profitability or Not?

Both Sides of the Table

” I mention journalists here because they perpetuate the myth that focusing on profits is ALWAYS the right answer and then I hear many entrepreneurs (and certainly many “normals”) repeating the same mantra. I have had this discussion with many a first-time entrepreneur.

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Interview with Cody Simms, Techstars LA

socalTECH

We spoke earlier with Cody Simms , Executive Director of Techstars America and who leads the program in LA, to hear more about why the startup accelerator operator is opening up its third accelerator here, why Los Angeles has turned out to be one of the leading sources for startups across its network, as well as Cody's advice to entrepreneurs. There are so many incredible ups and downs in the course of building your own company from the ground up.

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It’s Morning in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

The movie, “The Social Network” might have had more of an impact on creating future entrepreneurs than any other event of the past 5 years. And of course the funding problem coincided with the stock market correction that took away most exit options for years to come.

Top 30 Startup Posts for July 2010

SoCal CTO

Welcome to the Lost Decade (for Entrepreneurs, IPO’s and VC’s) - Steve Blank , July 15, 2010 If you take funding from a venture capital firm or angel investor and want to build a large, enduring company (rather than sell it to the highest bidder), this isn’t the decade to do it. Wannabe entrepreneur symptoms and cures - Gabriel Weinberg , July 25, 2010 I was once a wannabe entrepreneur. Metrics availability.

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