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Ivory Madison - 2012 Lean Startup Conference

Eric Ries
Eric Ries
Eric RiesEric Ries

Ivory Madison - 2012 Lean Startup Conference

1 of 14
Bonfire of the
Vanity Metrics



Ivory Madison (not pictured)
CEO and Founder, Red Room
“There is no safety in numbers
     or in anything else.”

       –James Thurber
Vain, Vainglorious Vanity:
 Not Good for Business
  • Vanity blinds you to a lack of
    product/market fit.

  • It commits you to your original
    vision without agility.

  • It gets you invested in
    appearances, not reality.
“Like dreams, statistics are a
   form of wish fulfillment.”

     –Jean Baudrillard
Vanity Metrics: The Most
Common Form of Success Theater
 • Living beyond your means:
   unsustainable

 • Spending energy merely looking
   successful: stupid

 • Exaggerating your accomplishments:
   dishonest
Mark Twain said:

“Facts are stubborn, statistics
       more pliable.”
Ad

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Ivory Madison - 2012 Lean Startup Conference

  • 1. Bonfire of the Vanity Metrics Ivory Madison (not pictured) CEO and Founder, Red Room
  • 2. “There is no safety in numbers or in anything else.” –James Thurber
  • 3. Vain, Vainglorious Vanity: Not Good for Business • Vanity blinds you to a lack of product/market fit. • It commits you to your original vision without agility. • It gets you invested in appearances, not reality.
  • 4. “Like dreams, statistics are a form of wish fulfillment.” –Jean Baudrillard
  • 5. Vanity Metrics: The Most Common Form of Success Theater • Living beyond your means: unsustainable • Spending energy merely looking successful: stupid • Exaggerating your accomplishments: dishonest
  • 6. Mark Twain said: “Facts are stubborn, statistics more pliable.”
  • 7. Notorious Vanity Metrics: What Numbers Not To Use • Pageviews • Percent Growth • New Members • Conversion Rate • Total Members • Twitter followers • Unique visitors/visits • Facebook friends/likes
  • 8. “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.” –T.S. Eliot
  • 9. Characteristics of Actionable Metrics • Measure success at your core business. • Show or directly relates to revenue. • Track real, individual customers. • Illustrate cause and effect. • Lead you to what to do next.
  • 10. “I’m not prepared for a zombie apocalypse. I need more bottled water, a shotgun, and stronger abs.” –Jenna Fischer
  • 11. Your Four: The Most Important Metrics (The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse) • Measure Revenue • Measure Sales Volume • Measure Customer Retention • Measure Relevant Growth
  • 12. “To see a world in a grain of sand…” – William Blake
  • 13. Find the Big Picture in the Small Numbers • Real Lean Startups Don’t Flinch at Real Numbers • Business Lessons are Life Lessons • Vow to Give Up Vanity • Make the Vision About More Than Just the Numbers