Startup Metrics 4 Pirates (Wildfire Interactive, May 2012)

I can’t tell how many times I’ve watched the Startups Metrics 4 Pirates presentation. And every time I watch it, I catch something new to apply on Bundlr.

The best part is the 5-step model, a simple way to understand the multiple dimensions of a service:

  • Acquisition: users come to site from various channels
  • Activation: users enjoy 1st visit: “happy” experience
  • Retention: users come back, visit site multiple times
  • Referral: users like product enough to refer others
  • Revenue: users conduct some monetization behavior AARRR!

Now, I can’t say we’ve been following all the rules. For example, you should had focused first on Activation and Retention, until we can prove we have the solution for a relevant problem. Instead, we’ve been aiming at all the 5 steps indiscriminately, definitely not the best strategy.

But it’s very important to, at least, have a common ground to discuss where we are in terms of product and business. So, if you’re working on a startup, you should make sure everyone on the team understands this 5 steps.

For a developer like me, starting a company, programming isn’t the hard part. That’s easy. I already know how much time it usually takes to get something done and that I’m reasonably good at it. I can easily spend the whole day fixing bugs and developing new features.

The hard part is knowing that, even if you do a good job building the service and getting the user experience right, it’s only half of the battle. We’re building a business, not a hobby.

At Bundlr, we’re reaching the point where we’re not incredible embarrassed of showing the service to someone. That means our focus should shift for activities like business development, PR, marketing, etc.. which are usually my responsibility.

But for an inexperienced guy like me, it’s really hard to know where should I be spending my time. Watch our metrics like an hawk or keep showing out service to bloggers? Experiment with AB testing or interview or top users? Build a better help section or look for mentors in our space? There is no definite answer…

I’ll try to document here the process. Meanwhile here’s an interesting presentation on business development for startups:


For more resources on startups, follow this bundle: Doing the startup dance.