Growth is Simple
Sean Ellis


Well written article. It’s refreshing to see someone recognize the astonishing lack of resources we give to the very people we expect sweeping changes of growth from.

However, I disagree with the notion that a single metric could be primarily responsible for all of the insights regarding any business’s historical or potential growth. I do believe that you can use something similar to what you describe a “North Star Metric” to summarize a business’s net benefit to its market, like some sort of a fiscal impact analysis or an economic impact analysis gauged on one commercial entity— but these can’t consistently be boiled down to a single compounded metric (even with direct subs) in the same form as your coined “North Star Metric”. It may work for some specific businesses & markets that match the necessary conditions and prerequisites.

The best principles are universal.

I would say that this sort of mentality typically is only appropriate when a specific, ideal context for the business itself is present. Perhaps a firm who’s main offering is specifically on a SaaS platform.

But what about those companies that have diversified offerings, or even diversified channels for those offerings? This is how a company does business. A one-size-fits-all hat based upon SaaS models is not effective, nor appropriate here.

I don’t think you’ll find too many people concerned with monitoring what they consider to be irrelevant metrics — everyone wants insights that matter and can be used for making decisions that positively impact the business — but developing tunnel vision to omit potentially irrelevant information isn’t the way to go. Being a religious zealot that accepts only 10% of his own accepted holy book is never a quick path to enlightenment — whatever his/her beliefs may be.

In other words, why amputate the whole leg (which can still effectively be used walking) when you can just remove the infected toe?

Don’t get me wrong- I care about impactful data just as much as the next guy- but the clear difference between data and a useful insight for the business…

…is context.

Again, Very nice article. Enjoyed reading it.