If you are into Growth Hacking – finding technology and engineering ways to grow your users via marketing techniques that involve building tools, product features, API’s etc., then you know there are multiple techniques to achieve progress,
I was at the Angel Pad demo day #9, the day before yesterday, and I learned from 3 of 13 founders the #1 technique they use to grow. Actually they all use it apparently, but I only spoke with 3.
To give you some context, the 13 companies from the program have generated over $2 million in revenues, many growing over 20% monthly. 50% were B2B, and only 1 company was older than 18 months. So, a fairly young set of startups.
The #1 technique they all adopted was “Instrumenting and Measuring their app” from day 1.
I believe this to be true from my personal experience as well. Just getting on the weighing machine daily forces me to make healthy choices about my food, diet and exercise.
The mere act of monitoring something – or measuring something makes you want to improve it – at some time.
That may be easier said than done for most companies.
There is always a push and pull between feature requests from customers and adding telemetry to your application.
Which is why the #1 tip I got from the research after talking to a few of the Angel Pad founders was –
For every 3 features they add, they put the effort to track 1 new metric on their internal dashboard.
That 3:1 ratio seemed like a good rule of thumb – I am sure your own experience will vary based on the nuances of your market, your customers and your product.
Most of the companies had an internal dashboard to track their metrics in real time.
Founders I spoke with checked their metrics often – from the obsessed – “every few minutes to an hour” to the more likely “many times a day” to the more sustainable “daily”.
The dashboard was sometimes displayed at the office in the middle of the bullpen, or their kitchen area or in other cases, a conference room, and most meetings began with a quick review of metrics.
Since metrics were always available, most entrepreneurs did not spend time debating numbers, or looking for them or pulling together a “spreadsheet”, but deciding what the numbers meant, why they went one way or another and figuring out what their course of action should be.
I found that to be revealing and enlightening.
What 2 of them told me, was that it was also great for their internal culture and orientation towards success.
It also requires maturity from the teams – both in recognizing when things are not going well and at the same time, realizing that sometimes, even taking action results in not the necessary result that you are hoping to achieve.
I would highly recommend this one technique to get you started and use the 3:1 or any other number to measure, instrument and track your users, usage and metrics.