Know Your Metrics to Stand Out

Today I had the privilege of attending an event where two early-stage founders pitched the cofounders of Tiger Global and partners from Bessemer Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, and Alsop Louie Partners. The founders did a fantastic job. I was curious to hear what feedback they received—it’s not often you’re able to hear feedback from such accomplished investors regarding early-stage companies.

The comment that stood out most was about metrics. The investors were impressed by both pitches, but the founder who included detailed company metrics was phenomenal. Customer acquisition cost, lifetime value, gross margins, projected revenue, and a host of other metrics were included in her pitch. She spoke confidently and demonstrated that she had a great handle on the levers that matter most and that drive her business. The panel said it was rare to see an early-stage founder have such a great grasp on the metrics of their business so early. They praised her and asked her if they could follow up with her so they could learn more.

If you’re an early-stage founder with a product in the market, identify the metrics that matter most in your business and focus on moving them in the right direction. Understanding these metrics will help you both stand out at this stage and make better decisions.