March 3, 2015

Outcomes follow actions

When running a startup (or probably any organisation), it's important to remember that achieving a target or changing a specific metric require certain actions taken by specific people. One way to sanity check if a metric can be met at a specific time is to:

  • Understand what actions (a new feature, increased marketing etc) are the primary drivers of the metric
  • Estimate how long it will take to implement that action with a given number of resources
  • Understand what resources (people with specific knowledge, money etc) are needed to take those actions
  • If you don't have the resources, how long will it take you to acquire them (hire a new engineer in Sweden = 4.5-6 months with ramp-up time, raise more funding = varies a lot etc)
So even if you know how to increase a key metric, it's as important to understand how long it takes to do the job that will drive the change.

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