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Photo by Whitney Combs on Unsplash

“How does my growth rate compare to other companies?”

That’s a question I get asked often in the course of my job as a growth advisor working at a VC firm and until now lacked specific benchmarks to answer objectively. Many times, I had to resort to anecdotal feedback. As someone who prefers data-driven answers, I aim to do better and am excited to share the results of a recent project.

I had two goals:

  • determine bands for year-over-year revenue growth relative to when a company began
  • put that growth in perspective by comparing it to the capital used to achieve…

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As a growth advisor to over 70 startups at Madrona Venture Group, I’m involved in discussions like this all the time:

“Facebook and Google are too expensive and it’s doing horrible things to my CAC — what other channels are working for people?”

In many cases, I bring up podcasts as I have seen them be successful with many types of companies.

Podcasts are one of the few channels I’ve seen that can satisfy both brand and performance marketers. …

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Over a Weekend and for Under $1000

Most startups fail. Debates about why are nearly as old as Silicon Valley itself. Some argue it was the team and its inability to execute, while others point to the lack of a market for an idea.

Both are critical in achieving ‘product market fit’, but a CB Insights post-mortem study found that ‘no market need’ was the #1 reason for failure.

Entrepreneurs put their heart and soul into these ideas (not to mention their capital), and in many cases the pain of a failed startup could have been avoided with some customer research up front.

In this post, I am going to share three relatively inexpensive tests I’ve used while working at a VC to quickly learn about the market demand for startup ideas. …


Ryan Metzger

CEO, co-founder @getridwell. Prev @MadronaVentures, @zulily. Fan of Northwestern, the Seahawks, and any news on the return of the Sonics.

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