Vanity Metrics

TL;DR Focus on the important things

May 25, 2016 · 2 min read

It is really really easy to get caught up in metrics that do not mean anything. Modern media makes it seem like a bunch of things matter that really don’t.

At the end of the day all that matters is if customers are loving your product.

You can throw out all of the Tech Crunch Press and transitive views on your website if no one is caring about your product.

Founders dig themselves into a deep hole when they make decisions based on the “growth” of a vanity metric. These metrics are perhaps correlated to but not the causation of “success.”

So instead of focusing on page views — focus on time spent on the website. Instead of paying attention to click through rate, focus on customer acquisition cost. Instead of focusing on media attention, look at how many customers are purchasing as a result of media.

Changing the way you track your metrics allows you to better iterate over your idea. It is really hard to grow something in the first place. It is even harder to make something grow if you do not know which direction you want it to.

Imagine building a trellis that leads a plant horizontally when you really want it to grow upwards. That is what making managerial decisions based off of vanity metrics is like — you will be steering your company in the wrong direction.

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