First, what is an actionable metric?
An actionable metric is one that ties specific and repeatable actions to observed results.
The opposite of actionable metrics are vanity metrics (like web hits or number of downloads) which only serve to document the current state of the product but offer no insight into how we got here or what to do next.
In my last post, I highlighted the importance of thinking in terms of Pivots versus Optimizations before product/market fit.
Pivots are characterized by maximizing learning while Optimizations are characterized by maximizing efficiency.
This distinction carries over to metrics too. As we’ll see some metrics matter more than others depending on the stage of the company but more importantly, it’s how these metrics are measured that make them actionable versus not. I’ll share my 3 rules to actionable metrics, derived from Lean Startup principles, and specifically focus on what metrics I measure and how I measure them.
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